After inviting the United Nations and the European Union to investigate his bloody crackdown against illegal drugs, President Duterte on Friday said that United States President Barack Obama is also welcome to come to the country probe the alleged summary executions.
“Yun mga human rights, halikayo . . . I would be inviting the Human Rights Commission, EU, Obama if he wants to come here, si (UN Secretary General) Ban Ki- Moon,” the Chief Executive said in a speech before officers and personnel of the Police Regional Office 12 in General Santos City.
On Thursday, Duterte said he has ordered Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to write a letter of invitation to the UN and EU officials to visit the Philippines and look into the alleged spate of extrajudicial killings.
The President said he was ready to be grilled by the “best lawyers” from these international bodies in a public forum but on one condition – that he should be given the chance to question UN and EU officials.
Aside from the UN and EU, Washington has also expressed concern over the sharp rise in the number of killings since he launched a war on drugs after assuming the presidency on June 30.
Last month, Duterte and Obama were supposed to meet on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Laos. However, the White House cancelled the meeting after Duterte’s profanity-laden tirade, warning Obama not to lecture him on human rights. Duterte later expressed regrets.
In his speech on Friday, the President scored anew his foreign critics for blaming the government for the alleged extrajudicial killings in connection with his no-nonsense campaign against illegal drugs.
According to Duterte, they do not understand the magnitude of the drug problem in the country.
“Hindi nga nila alam kung sino nagpapatayan. Why do you attribute all the killings in Manila to the police and me?”
said the President, adding: “Di ba nila alam na pati police generals at police involved (in the drug trade)?”
(Elena L. Aben)