Palace denies shoot-to-kill policy for drug suspects

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MALACAÑANG on Tuesday denied that President Rodrigo Duterte issued a shoot-to- kill order against drug suspects following fresh criticisms from the United Nations.

“The President has categorically and repeatedly said that there is no shoot-to-kill order. All drug killings are subject to investigations,” Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said.

He was reacting to the speech of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein calling the lack of respect for due process and rights of all Filipinos “appalling.”

“In the Philippines, I continue to be gravely concerned by the President’s open support for a shoot-to-kill policy regarding suspects, as well as by the apparent absence of credible investigations into reports of thousands of extrajudicial killings, and the failure to prosecute any perpetrator. The recent killing of a schoolboy who was dragged into an alley and shot in the head by plains-clothed policeman on 16 August was described by the Minister of Justice as “an isolated case,” Zeid said in his opening statement at the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday.


But Abella said the campaign against illegal drugs aims to “preserve lives.”

“We are deeply concerned with the sweeping statements. The objective of the President’s campaign against illegal drugs is to preserve the lives of the Filipino people, to prevent the destruction of Filipino families, and to protect the Philippines from becoming a narco-state,” he said. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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