GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 24 Sept) — President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday called for respect and fair treatment from the United Nations (UN), other states and international bodies as he reiterated the government’s resolve to rid the country of illegal drugs.
Speaking before officers and personnel of the Police Regional Office-12 here, the President urged the UN, United States, European Union and international human rights groups to treat him fairly and he will respond accordingly.
Duterte said their rapporteurs can come to the country and see for themselves what’s really happening on the ground.
“If you just treat me fairly, magpapakumbaba ako,” the President said.
The UN, US, EU and various international human rights groups have criticized the Duterte administration’s ongoing war against illegal drugs and blamed it for the killing of drug suspects that has reportedly reached more than 3,000.
In his testimony at the Senate Committee hearing on September 15, Philippine National Police Director-General Ronald dela Rosa said that from July 1 until 8 a.m. that day, a total of 3,140 persons have been killed, of which 1,105 were as a result of police operations, and 2,035 are “deaths under investigation”
Duterte said it appears that most of the supposed extrajudicial killings involved “drug gangs.”
He said a number of the recorded killings, especially those in Metro Manila, have imprints of gang rivalries.
“They’re killing each other and want to be ahead of everyone,” he said.
The President said the human rights rapporteurs should consider these facts and look at the situation objectively.
“Why do you attribute all the killings in Metro Manila to the police and the army when as a matter of fact, there are gangs involved that include police generals,” he said.
“Yung unang birada binabalot daw ng plaster ang mga patay. Sabi ko that is not the job of the police to make mummies. That’s only in Egypt,” he added.
President Duterte acknowledged that the ongoing war against illegal drugs has resulted to numerous deaths but noted that they were all in legitimate police operations.
In parts of Mindanao, he said there were drug suspects killed by military personnel undertaking police actions.
The President reiterated that the government will continue on with the relentless campaign against illegal drugs and criminality despite the difficulties and criticisms its is facing.
He said the country’s illegal drug problem has “gone beyond our imagination,” with nearly 4 million Filipinos who are drugs addicts.
President Duterte directed police personnel here to step up with their anti-drug and anti-criminality campaigns and at the same time reminded them to follow the standards in undertaking police operations.
“Go out and hunt down the criminals, arrest them, and if they offer a violent resistance, patayin mo sila. Yan ang order ko sa iyo, that has not changed,” he added.
During his visit, the President presided over a command conference of PRO-12 officials and several local government leaders in the area.
In attendance were City Mayor Ronnel Rivera, Sultan Kudarat Governnor Sultan Pax Mangudadatu and Sarangani Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon.
The President inspected over a hundred firearms that were recovered in various police operations in the area in the last two months and conferred merit awards to top performing police officials and personnel in connection with the campaign against illegal drugs. (MindaNews)