Malacañang on Saturday denied that the government invited the United Nation’s (UN) special rapporteur on summary executions to look into the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country.
In a statement, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the exchange between Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvado Panelo and the “UN mouthpieces” were “unofficial.”
“The Philippines has not extended any invitation to anybody, nor the UN to look into its national affairs. We are capable of our own internal dialogue,” Abella said.
Challenged by Panelo to come over and see for herself the real situation, UN special rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard tweeted on Friday: “Invitation to investigate welcomed. Ready to ‘see for myself.’”
Abella, however, said that the “UN mouthpieces” are only assuming that they were offered an invitation to come and investigate the spike in drug related killings.
Earlier, Callamard called on Philippines authorities “to adopt with immediate effect the necessary measures to protect all persons from targeted killings and extrajudicial executions.”
But Panelo dismissed Callamard’s statement.
“When you are in New York or somewhere else, 10,000 kilometers or miles away from the Philippines and then you make such judgments, that’s recklessness,” Panelo said.
Abella said also said any investigation by the UN will not be welcomed.
“The drug situation is being responsibly addressed by Philippine authorities, and so-called investigations by third parties are objectionable interference in the household affairs of a nation whose citizens welcome the change that the President and his people-friendly policies and programs being set in place,” he said in a statement.
“The liberal Western values being imposed upon an Asian nation that places premium on common good is both insensitive and displays a lack of appreciation for the diversity of global culture,” Abella added.
The Palace official also clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte has issued “clear” orders to all police officers “to defend themselves, their lives or team,” against drug suspects during operations.
“The same police enforcers are subject to rule of law should they go beyond their mandate. Beyond these, the President operates under the presumption of regularity in the drive against drugs,” Abella said.
“The President therefore finds the pronouncements from certain bodies as unwelcome meddling in national matters,” he added.
Wait and see
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has adopted a “wait and see” approach to the spate of killings of persons linked to illegal drug activities in the country.
Franz Jessen, head of the EU delegation to the Philippines, said the bloc has to wait for the Duterte administration’s first 100 days in office to pass before making any conclusion about the issue.
“We usually wait and see and then we look after a hundred days how the different change implemented by the new government is taking place and then we’ll start evaluating more clearly,” Jessen said in a recent forum at the Far Eastern University in Makati City.
“But at this point, we are looking at the events, looking at the different developments,” he added.
“Right now, we are looking at the developments. We are not making any conclusion about what could happen later on. We have to wait and see,” Jessen explained.
Guenter Taus, president of European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, admitted in the same forum that businessmen from Europe, the United States, and Canada are wary of the spate of killings in the Philippines.
“We do feel there is hesitation there,” he said, referring to the EU’s hesitation in establishing its position on the issue.