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No invitation for UN to probe drug slays

Malacañang said yesterday that the government did not invite the United Nations or any body to investigate the sharp rise in the number of people killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs.

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella stressed that the drug problem in the country is being addressed responsibly by Philippine authorities and the so-called investigations by third parties are “objectionable interference in the household affairs” of the nation.

“The Philippines has not extended any invitation to any body nor the UN to look into its national affairs. We are capable of our own internal dialogue,” according to Abella.

The Palace official issued the statement after UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard said that she is ready to see for herself the situation in the country on Friday.

“Invitation to investigate welcomed. Ready to “see for myself” – Dr Agnes Calammard (@AgnesCallamard),” the UN expert posted on Twitter.

Callamard was reacting to reports where Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo was quoted as saying that statements made by UN experts criticizing the government’s campaign against drugs “are misplaced and baseless” and that “they better come over and see for themselves the real situation.”

However, Abella said the exchange between Panelo and UN mouthpieces were “unofficial.”

Abella noted that the “unparalleled success” of Duterte’s no-nonsense campaign against illegal drugs that has resulted in the death of hundreds of drug suspects now draws unwarranted attention from external observers.

“The President has made it clear that arresting officers are allowed to defend themselves, their lives, or team. The same police enforcers are subject to rule of law should they go beyond their mandate. Beyond these, the President operates under the presumption of regularity in the drive against drugs,” said the Palace official.

“The President therefore finds the pronouncements from certain bodies as unwelcome meddling in national matters,” Abella 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.” (ELENA L. ABEN)