Robredo: ‘Why reject drug war probe if there are no rights violations?’
MANILA, Philippines — Why reject the call of United Nations rights experts for an independent probe of the Duterte administration’s drug war if there have been no rights violations in its conduct?
Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo posed this question on Sunday over the decision of Malacañan Palace to reject the call.
Robredo said the rejection would only raise suspicion that there were indeed violations in the conduct the drug war.
“Iyong sa atin lang, kung totoo na walang human rights violations dito, bakit sasalungatin natin iyong imbestigasyon? Kasi ‘di ba, mas mabuti ngang pinapakita natin na wala tayong tinatago kaysa haharangin natin?” Robredo said during her weekly radio program, “BISErbisyong LENI,” aired over AM radio station DZXL.
[Our part, if it’s true that there have been no human rights violation in its conduct, why oppose the investigation? Isn’t it better for us to show that we’re not hiding anything rathern that block it?]
“Kasi iyong sadya naman ng imbestigasyon para masigurong walang masamang nangyayari. Pero kapag hinaharang natin, hindi ba parang lalong nakakadagdag sa pagdududa? Bakit mo haharangin kung wala ka namang tinatago?” she added.
[The aim of the investigation is to make sure that nothing wrong is happening. But if we block it, wouldn’t to that add to the doubts? Why will you block it if you have nothing to hide?]
Robredo explained that the UN, as an “additional protector of humanity,” would intervene if any government should fail to protect the rights of its own citizens.
“Ito, itong United Nations na human rights experts, iyon iyong dahilan kung bakit nandiyan sila — dahil may mga gobyerno na hindi maayos iyong pagpo-protect sa human rights. Kaya kapag mayroong mga gobyernong ganoon, nagse-step in sila,” Robredo said.
[That’s the reason why these United Nations human rights experts are there — because there are government who don’t properly protect human rights. When you have a government like that, then that’s when they step in.]
“Ako naman, kung ako ang pamahalaan, kung wala naman akong tinatago, iwe-welcome ko iyon. Kasi kapag gumawa sila ng imbestigasyon at wala naman silang nakita, hindi ba parang affirmation iyon na tama iyong sinasabi natin?” she added.
[On my part, if I were the government, if I have nothing to hide, I would welcome it. If they do an investigation and they see nothing, then wouldn’t that be an affirmation that what we’ve been saying is the truth?]
Robredo underscored that the independent probe would be an opportunity for the administration to prove that the allegation of rights violations was not true.
“Pagkakataon para malinis iyong pangalan na hindi naman totoo iyong sinasabi, hindi totoo iyong haka-haka na maraming human rights violations dito. Kaya kung ako, papadaliin ko pa iyong trabaho nila. Tutulungan para, ‘di ba?” Robredo said.
[This is an opportunity to clear ourselves that what is being said is not true, that it‘s not true that there are many human rights violations here. So if it were up to me, I would make their work easier and help them.]
On Saturday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo tagged the call of the UN human rights experts as “an outrageous interference [in] Philippine sovereignty” while insisting that the drug war had been following a strict protocol.
“The 11 UN special rapporteurs’ act of peddling a biased and absolutely false recital of facts, adulterated with malicious imputations against the constituted authorities smacks of unpardonable intrusions on our sovereignty,” Panelo said in a statement.
READ: Palace: Calls for UN probe of slays ‘intellectually challenged’
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) also rejected the call for a probe, saying that it was “being made in bad faith by parties who want to undermine domestic processes and spread disinformation, on the basis of one-sided reports coming from questionable sources.”
(Editor: Alexander T. Magno)
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