Gov’t not stopping foreign probe on drug war: Palace

MANILA – The government is not stopping international organizations from investigating the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs but emphasized that it could still be considered an “assault to sovereignty”, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark after a recent survey showed that majority of Filipinos believe that the administration should allow international organizations like the United Nations (UN) to conduct an investigation on human rights violations in the drug war.

A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that 60 percent of Filipinos agree with the statement: “The government should not block the investigation of international groups, like the United Nations, into the killing by the Philippine police of so many drug suspects who supposedly fought back.”

Hindi naman natin ini-stop eh. Ang reaction natin is (We’re not stopping them. Our reaction is): you cannot do that to us, because we are a sovereign state,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

Panelo reiterated that international groups should not interfere because Philippine courts were functioning.

He blamed critics of the Duterte administration for making the public believe in the premise that drug-related deaths were state-sanctioned.

“Kasi nga iyon nga ang banat ng mga kritiko na hinahadlangan natin. Naniniwala sila doon sa kritiko na akala nila humahadlang tayo; and yet Filipinos are saying na tama naman iyong kanyang drug war,” (Because the critics claim we are obstructing. They believe in critics’ claim and yet Filipinos are saying that his drug war is right),” Panelo said.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Panelo said the survey results will not change the administration’s stance that the UN could not enter the Philippines to conduct an investigation on the drug war.

“It will not, kasi nga (because) it’s an assault on our sovereignty,” Panelo said.

Panelo noted that the President does not see a need to convince the public to support its views against allowing UN to probe the crackdown on illegal drugs.

Earlier, Panelo said if the UN is really serious in looking into the country’s drug war, it should have first written a formal communication or inquiry asking for government data.

He said the Duterte government is the only administration that has always responded to formal communications sent to its various offices. (PNA)

By Azer Parrocha  July 23, 2019, 7:33 pm