The Philippines was facing its regular review at the Geneva-based UN human rights council, with many countries demanding an end to the extrajudicial killings which have claimed thousands of lives since President Rodrigo Duterte took office last year, according to the Manila Times Online report on Tuesday.
Human Rights Watch statement said the Monday’s session was especially critical because of the sheer magnitude of the human rights calamity.
The meeting began with Senator Alan Cayetano denouncing what he called a campaign by rights advocates and the media to distort perceptions of the Philippine government’s anti-drug effort.
“There is no new wave of killings in the Philippines,” Cayetano said adding that the government’s enemies were using “a political tactic” of manipulating figures on extrajudicial killings to undermine the fight against a scourge that has poisoned Filipino society.
Canada called on Manila to “end extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests and detention, torture and harassment.”
Delegations from Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, among others, made identical calls.
China, however, offered support to the Filipino firebrand, declaring drugs “the public enemy of mankind.”
Cayetano assured the UN council that the Philippine government is committed to protecting human rights and fundamental freedom.