By Paterno Esmaquel II
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines boasted of its own Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to counter Iceland and 38 other countries that criticized the killings and the "climate of impunity" in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.
The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) cited Ambassador Maria Teresa Almojuela, Philippine deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, in a statement Friday, September 29.
The DFA issued this comment after Iceland delivered a statement on behalf of 38 other countries at the UN against the "climate of impunity" in the Philippines. The Philippine government denounced these countries' statement "sweeping and politicized."
"Unlike some states that joined Iceland, Ambassador Almojuela said the Philippines actually has a functioning and independent Commission on Human Rights that is also fully compliant with the Paris Principles," the DFA said.
Almojuela explained, "There is no culture of impunity in the Philippines. We have internal mechanisms to investigate all law enforcement operations that lead to deaths."
This comes as Duterte blasts the CHR for supposedly meddling in his anti-drug campaign, and as Duterte's allies at the House of Representatives practically want the CHR abolished. (READ: 'Demonizing' human rights in the first year of Duterte).
Thumbnail: 2017 Global Day of Action - Philippines