• Cayetano defends war on drugs at UN

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    SENATOR Alan Peter Cayetano defended the Philippines from criticisms at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland, maintaining that President Rodrigo Dutere aims to uphold the human dignity of Filipinos.

    At the pre-event of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Universal Periodic Review session, Cayetano defended the Duterte administration’s campaign against crime, illegal drugs and corruption, saying the government has been wrongfully flayed before the international community.

    The senator is part of the Philippine delegation attending the session to present the country’s human rights-based development programs.

    “If only there was a less political, more unbiased and fair way of describing what is happening in the Philippines, we will be having a more constructive discussion rather than groups throwing alternative facts and fake news,” Cayetano told international delegates.

    He cited the gains of the Duterte administration in its intensified war on illegal drugs, refuting the claims of critics that there had been a spate of extrajudicial killings since the war on drugs started.

    According to Cayetano, since the campaign against illegal drugs started, there has been a 408% increase in the police’s anti-illegal drug operations per day. While there have been killings, he said it is because some suspects fought back.

    For every 100 legitimate operations conducted by the PNP, only five are killed, he said.

    Cayetano maintained that President Duterte valued human rights, and even gave the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) a 65 percent increase in its budget for this year to enable it to monitor human rights situation in the country.

    The Philippines and 13 other countries will comprise the first batch of nations that will present during sessions in Geneva national reports on actions they have taken from 2012 onwards to improve the human rights situation in their respective countries.

    The periodic review aims to improve the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 UN member states.

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