Roque says Duterte won’t brook foreign meddling in war on drugs
DA NANG, Vietnam — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday said the government’s war on drugs was a domestic issue, warning other countries not meddle in it.
Roque dismissed Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Chito Gascon’s claim that President Rodrigo Duterte was wrong in saying that US President Donald Trump and other world leaders should “lay off” the issue of human rights.
“That’s the opinion of the CHR chair. As far as Philippine President Duterte is concerned, the war against drugs is a domestic police matter,” Roque said in a press conference in Da Nang, Vietnam, where the President attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
“It is subject to the principle of noninterference, which is recognized in the United Nations Charter and in international law,” Roque said.
Mr. Duterte earlier said he would tell Trump to “lay off” if the American leader raised the issue of human rights in their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Manila next week.
“He will refuse to pursue any talks relating to a domestic issue, such as his war on drugs,” Roque said.
“Now, having said that, I’m confident that President Trump, having endorsed Duterte’s war on drugs, will also see no necessity in bringing it up,” he added.
Roque said the President had stated that he would not condone human rights violations by state security forces in the bloody antinarcotics campaign.
“He wants to emphasize that as a public prosecutor for 10 years, it is not his intention to violate human rights and to commit murders,” Roque said.
More than 3,800 people, who allegedly resisted police raids, have been killed by officers in the antidrug war since the President took office last year.
Human rights groups have denounced what they called drug-related extrajudicial killings and believe that unknown assailants who had killed thousands more were corrupt officers or vigilantes working for the police.
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