The Daily Manila Shimbun


Palace stresses alleged killings will be investigated

May 9, 2017

Malacanang on Tuesday said alleged extrajudicial killings in the country will be investigated. "Everything is subjected to due process. We will investigate everything that needs to be investigated," Presidential Spokesperson Erenesto Abella said in a press briefing. He made the statement following a recommendation from United Nations Human Rights Committee in last Monday's universal periodic review to investigate extrajudicial killings and to ensure accountability and fight impunity. With 45 out of 47 countries who suggested the Philippine government investigates the alleged killings, Abella said the government is pursuing its own direction on dismantling illegal drugs and its apparatus. France, who elected a new president on Monday, appealed to the Philippines to abandon its reinstatement of the death penalty. "We are not attempting to change anybody's minds about these things. We're just simply pursuing our own direction regarding the dismantling of the illegal drug apparatus," Abella said. He added the administration is open as long as everything is valid and subjective. Abella said President Rodrigo Duterte is concerned over the human rights situation in the country. "Concerned but only, I suppose not in the sense of wanting to convince his people. Because really what the President, him being the one who really directs the prime policy of the nation, he is single-minded  He is single-minded about and as pointed out earlier in the report given by the PAO (Public Attorney's Office) he is in good strong ground in attempting to dismantle the drug apparatus," he said. "They are open to comments. They are open to present their own criticisms opinions. However we will continue to pursue our own line up of action," he added. Abella said some countries misunderstood what the government is doing and the review in Geneva is to know the accountability the country has and that is what the representative is trying to present. "I supposed our situation has been overtaken by the media hype and media noise and apparently a concerted effort in trying to create a noise that is beyond what is really there," he said. Abella reiterated Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's statement killings in the previous administrations varied form low of 11,00 to a high of 16,000 people. "And he made mention why was this not reported. Why there’s no apples to apples comparison between the figures of past and present administrations," he said. Abella said Cayetano mentioned the country's Commission on Human Rights, a senator and some local media are some critics of the administration who deceived the public and foreign media into believing that there’s a sudden wave of state’s sponsored extrajudicial killings in the country. Cayetano led the 16-man Philippine delegation who went to Geneva, Switzerland for the UNHRC's Universal Periodic Review. (Ella Dionisio/DMS)