Duterte: Drug-related killings not genocide


Posted at Aug 24 2016 08:01 PM

An unidentified person records the dead bodies on his mobile phone after a police operation in Pandacan, Manila on July 16, 2016. Communities in Metro Manila have witnessed a surge in police operations since the start of Duterte's war on drugs. Photo by Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said the increasing number of deaths in his administration's campaign against crime and drugs is different from genocide.

Speaking to reporters in Taytay, Rizal, Duterte said there is no need for the international community to investigate the spate of killings in the Philippines because there is no genocide here.

"Genocide is when you go in, just like [in] Africa, you bomb with wanton abandon. You kill people for no reason at all. You massacre women. In the Middle East, you burn women for refusing to have sex. 'Yan ang dapat patayin. Hindi na sila kailangan mag-permiso sa akin, 'yung [UN offices on] Human Rights (It's these people who should be killed. If we had such cases, they would not need permission from me to investigate)," he said.

"In the Philippines, walang namatay dito, there is no wanton killing of civilians. Either lumaban sa pulis, and we are ready, I said to prepare, to answer for it, or 'yung pinatay na sinalvage," Duterte added.

(In the Philippines, there is no such deaths here, there is no wanton killing of civilians. It's either they fought off the police, and we are ready, I said, to prepare, to answer for it, or those salvaged.)

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday issued a stern warning to the government during a joint Senate probe into extra-judicial killings in the anti-drug campaign.

CHR Chair Chito Gascon said government should show its resolve to prevent killings or risk the consequences of a Universal Periodic Review scheduled in April 2017 and having the International Criminal Court (ICC) step in to exercise jurisdiction over cases of crimes against humanity in the country.

[CHR to gov't: Address extrajudicial killings or risk ICC jurisdiction]

Last week, two United Nations (UN) human rights experts called on Duterte to stop the unabated killings in his war on drugs, with one of them warning that the Philippine leader's incitement to violence was a crime under international law.

Agnes Callamard, UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, called out Duterte for endorsing the killing of drug suspects, describing the new president's statements as a "license to kill." 

Duterte has repeatedly said he would back policemen who would get involved in fatal encounters with drug suspects.

''Directives of this nature are irresponsible in the extreme and amount to incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law. It is effectively a license to kill,” Callamard warned.

''Intentional lethal use of force is only allowed when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life and should not be used for common policing objectives,'' she added.

Since Duterte won the May 9 presidential election, over 1,000 people have been killed by both policemen and suspected vigilantes.