Duterte challenges EU, UN to investigate deaths in drug menace

Manila, Sep 22 (IANS) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday challenged the UN and the European Union (EU) to investigate the deaths caused by his anti-drug campaign.

“I’m inviting UN Secretary General Ban Ki … what’s the name of that devil again? Ban Ki-moon, Ban Ki-sun. I am inviting the EU. Send the best player of your town. Even the rapporteurs, come to the Philippines,” local daily Philstar Global quoted the President as saying during the inauguration of a power plant in the province of Misamis Oriental, Northern Mindanao.

Duterte added that he too, however, will question the officials about the actions of the two organisations.

“I’ll write them a letter to invite them for an investigation but in keeping with the time-honoured principle of the right to be heard. After they ask me questions, I’ll ask them one by one,” he said.

Duterte has been openly critical of the UN and the EU in recent weeks after both bodies condemned the anti-drugs war a violation of human rights.

On September 21, Duterte hurled profanities at the EU for their condemnation of human rights violations and extra judicial killings during his anti-drug campaign.

Known for making offensive remarks, Duterte recently, called his US counterpart Barack Obama a “son of a wh***” which led to the cancellation of a scheduled Asean Summit meeting of the two in Laos on September 5.

As nearly 3,500 alleged drug traffickers and drug addicts have died since he took office, the Philippine President maintains that security forces are not behind the torture and killings of drug personalities.

“I asked the police to go after them and if they present violent resistance, kill them. With those words, many were killed but they were the ones who fought [with authorities],” Duterte said.

Referring to “those who were killed with their hands tied”, he said it was the “handiwork of co-conspirators in the drug trade”.

Duterte won the May 9, 2016 presidential elections with a campaign promise to end the country’s drug problem within the first six months in office.

–IANS

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