UN not invited to probe Duterte drug war, spokesman says


Posted at Aug 20 2016 04:33 PM | Updated as of Aug 21 2016 02:46 AM

UN not invited to probe Duterte drug war, spokesman says 1
President Rodrigo Duterte speaks to soldiers in Maguindanao province. Malacanang photo

MANILA - The United Nations was not invited to the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, his spokesman said Saturday, dismissing the world body's criticism as "unwelcome meddling."

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella clarified a statement by Duterte's chief legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, that two UN human rights experts who raised alarm over deaths linked to the anti-crime campaign should "come over" and see the "real situation." 

Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on summary executions, promptly responded on Twitter saying: "Invitation to investigate welcomed. Ready to 'see for myself.'"

"The Philippines has not extended any invitation to any body, nor the U.N. to look into its national affairs. We are capable of our own internal dialogue," Abella said in a statement.

Duterte views the actions of security forces waging the anti-drug campaign with the "presumption of regularity," Abella said, adding the drug scourge was "being responsibly addressed."

"The President therefore finds the pronouncements from certain bodies as unwelcome meddling in national matters," he said.

"The liberal Western values being imposed upon an Asian nation that places premium on common good is both insensitive and displays a lack of appreciation for the diversity of global culture," he said.

According to data culled by ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group, 1,127 drug suspects have been killed from May 10, when Duterte's election mandate became clear, to August 19.

The death toll includes 682 who were killed in police operations, 351 who were killed by unidentified assailants and 94 others, whose bodies were found away from the crime scene.