What Killings? Duterte’s Top Diplomat Rejects UN Drug War Probe

Andreo Calonzo

(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines said it won’t abide by a United Nations resolution looking to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte’s anti-drug campaign, which has killed thousands in the Southeast Asian country.

“We will not accept a politically partisan and one-sided resolution, so detached from the truth on the ground,” Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said in a statement after the UN Human Rights Council on Thursday adopted a resolution urging a comprehensive inquiry into the drug war. It was proposed by Iceland and supported by 18 nations.

Locsin said “there will be consequences” for Western countries pushed for the probe. He also denied the government’s anti-drug campaign had led to any deaths. “What killings?” he tweeted.

Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo said countries backing Iceland’s proposal have been misinformed about the drug war, adding that the planned probe was partisan and undermined Philippine sovereignty.

Before the rights body voted on Thursday, Duterte told the media that he would only allow the probe if it did not “add intrigue” to his campaign against illegal drugs.

Since taking office in 2016, the president has waged a campaign against drugs that has killed thousands and been condemned by human rights advocates. Philippine police place drug-related killings at 6,600 during his presidency -- a quarter of the 27,000 estimated by rights groups.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at acalonzo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at cyap19@bloomberg.net, ;Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Karen Leigh

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.