By Chad de Guzman

The United Nations (UN) human rights chief on Tuesday expressed grave concern over the spate of killings in the Philippines.

In his opening speech before the 36th Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zei Ra’ad Al Hussein cited there is a lack of respect for due process in the country.

“In the Philippines, I continue to be gravely concerned by the President's open support for a shoot-to-kill policy regarding suspects, as well as by the apparent absence of credible investigations into reports of thousands of extrajudicial killings, and the failure to prosecute any perpetrator,” Al Hussein said.

He also took note of the August 16 killing of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos, which Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre considered an “isolated case”.

“I am also shocked by President Duterte's threat to bomb schools for indigenous children in the southern Philippines, which he said were teaching children to rebel against the government,” he added.

Last July, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to bomb Lumad-run community schools in the provinces, claiming they were teaching students to rebel against the government.

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Thumbnail Flickr CC Talk Pinas