Malacañang on Monday brushed aside the remark made by Vice President Leni Robredo that the Duterte administration should welcome the call of United Nations (UN) experts for a probe into alleged human rights violations in the country if it has nothing to hide.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who earlier described the independent probe as “interference” to Philippine sovereignty, said the UN experts were only going to repeat their “false” allegations against the administration.
A group of 11 experts, including UN Special Rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, have called for an independent probe on the Philippines following alleged human rights violations in relation to the drug war launched by the administration in 2016.
Panelo, who is also Chief Presidential Legal Counsel, slammed the call for an independent probe, noting that UN experts’ basis comes from the opposition, and critics and detractors of the President.
“They keep on repeating the same false narratives against this government,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
He further said the false information was also specifically raised during the election campaign to tarnish Duterte’s reputation.
“Those issues were specifically raised during the election campaign, and the electorate repudiated overwhelmingly,” Panelo said.
“These rapporteurs should realize by now that iyong mga isyu na niri-raise nila hindi totoo (the issues they raised are not true),” he added.
Panelo said a probe is not necessary since the UN experts have seemingly “concluded” that the Duterte administration has indeed violated human rights.
“How can you be asking for an investigation when you already concluded that this country has violated certain human rights and has killed many people? So what’s the use of investigating kung may conclusion ka na, ‘di ba (if you already have a conclusion, right)?” Panelo said.
Panelo has repeatedly defended the administration’s war on drugs, noting that it is “pursuant to the primary duty of the state to preserve and protect the people.”
He also stressed that law enforcement authorities operate on strict protocols and that police abuses relative to the war on drugs were placed under administrative sanction and criminal prosecution. (PNA)