Philippines slams US human rights report

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Manila, April 21 (IANS) The Philippines on Saturday slammed the US for raising concerns about alleged extrajudicial killings in the country and increase on police impunity in connection with President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

“The Philippines is a sovereign state with a fully functioning democracy led by a legitimately elected government that is getting things done for the Filipino people,” said Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in a statement.

He was reacting to the 2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released in Washington on Friday.

“We do not need others who think they know better than us to tell us what to do,” Cayetano was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

As a sovereign nation, Cayetano said, the Philippines deserves the same kind of respect they have been extending to their friends in the international community.

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He assured the international community that in the conduct of the campaigns, “the government will remain guided by the rule of law embodied in the Constitution, which also enshrines the country’s long-standing tradition of upholding human rights”.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte launched the anti-drug crackdown after he took office in June 2016 to wipe out the drug trade in the Philippines, vowing to restore social order and create favourable environment for economic development.

According to the website of the Philippine National Police, from July 1, 2016 to January 17, 2018, the police conducted a total of 81,919 anti-drug operations resulting in the arrests of 119,361 and the killings of 3,987 drug suspects.

–IANS

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