Veiled protesters display placards during a protest calling for greater scrutiny of so-called war on drugs in Quezon on Wednesday. Associated Press
Manolo B. Jara
President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte on Wednesday said he would not face an international tribunal to be presided over by a foreigner, particularly a Caucasian, in connection the the alleged alarming rise in killings from the his brutal and violent war on illegal drugs.
Duterte also emphasised that despite criticisms and denunciations, he was determined to pursue the campaign he launched when he took over as president three years ago in 2016 to rid the country of illegal drugs, stressing that nobody would do it.
Duterte was reacting to the decision of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCR) to approve a resolution, introduced by Finland, calling for an investigation on the country’s drug war killings in an TV interview with pastor Apollo Quiboloy, a religious leader based in the president’s hometown of Davao City in Mindanao.
“Look, at I told you before...I will only face, be tried or face trial in a Philippine court presided by a Filipino judge. Prosecuted by a Filipino. And maybe they can impose death penalty and die in Filipino land,” Duterte said.
He also pointed out: “I will not allow a Caucasian asking question while there. You must be stupid. Who are you? I am a Filipino. We have our own courts here. You have to bring me somewhere else? I would not like that. I have my country. I know it is working. Justice is working here.”
A lawyer by profession, Duterte argued that foreign entities could only intervene if there is a fatal breakdown of justice in a country where nobody is willing to prosecute.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier reported that more than 6,600 suspects were killed since the campaign started when Duterte took his oath as the country’s first president from Mindanao in July 2016 until June this year.
However, human rights advocates and critics claimed the death toll could be higher reaching at least 20,000 due to extra-judicial killings blamed on “vigilante” groups allegedly with close links to the police.
Aside from the UNHCR, the UN International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague, Netherlands, earlier reported that it was looking into the cases of alleged crimes against humanity filed against Duterte in connection with the war on drugs.
Robredo, who was elected separately to Duterte and has a frosty relationship with the president, said the thousands of people killed was already too many, with no evidence of a decline in drugs supply or usage.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration has ordered the suspension of all loan and grant talks with foreign governments that backed a United Nations resolution to
Duterte gave the order to Bureau of Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero in televised remarks from a Cabinet meeting on the coronavirus pandemic Monday night.
Overseas Filipino workers are allowed to return under the Philippine repatriation programme, but they will be isolated for 14 days upon arrival.
According to the government, 37,291 people were discharged from hospitals and health centres in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cured to 30,781,263 till date as the virus continued to infect less than one lakh people over the last 53 days.
Rising sea levels reclaimed the land by swallowing the two-storey house - built between the 1960s and 1970s - whole.