Philippine leader to invite UN, EU to probe killings

‘They must also answer questions from me,’ Duterte says, challenging officials to public debate on his anti-drug campaign

Philippine leader to invite UN, EU to probe killings

World Bulletin / News Desk

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday that he will invite the United Nations and the European Union to investigate his bloody campaign against illegal drugs after he blasted their criticism of reported extrajudicial killings.

"Send your best lawyers. The UN rapporteurs should also come here. I will write a letter to invite them for an investigation," he said in a televised speech during the inauguration of a power plant in Misamis Oriental province.

"But, in keeping with the time-honored principle of the right to be heard, they must also answer questions from me," he underlined.

Over the past month, Duterte has slammed critics of the drive, including the United States, following their calls for the president to stop reported extrajudicial killings taking place in the Philippines in the fight against illegal drugs.

According to the Philippines national police, nearly 3,000 drug-related killings have been reported since Duterte assumed office June 30.

Of the 3,000 deaths, around 1,490 are under investigation as of Sept. 10 with authorities blaming suspected vigilante groups.

On Thursday, Duterte also challenged UN and EU officials to a public debate, saying he would “take on them one by one in an open forum”. 

“You can use the Senate or the Folk Arts Theater, whatever… Everybody will be invited … Then all of you can watch how I trample on them,” he added.

“This could not be a one way affair,” he stressed.

Duterte denied ordering the killings, reiterating that the deaths of suspected offenders were due to crime gangs and drug syndicates, news broadcaster ABS-CBN reported.

Duterte won the May 9 election on a crime-fighting campaign, and has pledged to curb corruption and criminality within three to six months.

On Sunday, he requested a six-month extension of his “self-imposed” timeline, saying, “I did not realize how severe and how serious the problem of drug menace in this Republic until I became President.”

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Eylül 2016, 16:14