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PH invites UN team

The Philippine government has formally invited the United Nations (UN) to probe the drug-related killings in the country but asked the world body to look into the deaths of law enforcers too.

The Palace invitation was extended by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to UN special rapporteur on summary executions Agnes Callamard in the wake of concerns raised by human rights groups about the alleged extrajudicial killings.

“Executive Secretary Medialdea said the Palace has sent the invitation to UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard and he’s awaiting her response,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said in a Palace press briefing.

“In its invitation, the Palace also urged, and I think this is notable, the UN rapporteur to include in her investigation the killings of law enforcers by drug suspects so that she could obtain an accurate perspective of the drug problem in the country,” Abella said.

The letter was signed last September 26 but was only released to the media on Wednesday.

The President earlier said he would invite UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and European Union officials to investigate allegations of widespread summary killings of drug suspects in the country.

The tough-talking Duterte however said these foreign probers must also face him in a public forum. He said he should also be given a chance to ask the UN and EU officials “in keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard.” (Genalyn Kabiling)