By Leslie Ann Aquino
If the government has nothing to hide, a Catholic prelate said it will allow the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the human rights situation here in the country.
“If the government considers itself above board in its drug war it should allow itself to be investigated by an outside entity. If it does not it has something dirty to hide,” Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in an interview.
Last Thursday, the UNHRC adopted a resolution seeking a probe into the human rights situation here including the alleged extrajudicial killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.
The decision stemmed from a resolution proposed by Iceland and resulted to 18 countries approving the resolution, while 14 opposing it; and 15 others abstain.
Malacanang, however, questioned the propriety as well as the validity of the resolution.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the resolution demonstrates how the Western powers are scornful of the country’s sovereign exercise of protecting its people from the scourge of prohibited drugs.
But Pabillo found this ironic.
“When other foreign bodies wants to investigate human rights abuses the government appeals to our sovereignty but when it is a matter of defending our territories and defending our people from China it is silent,” he said.
Earlier, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes asked the government to respect the move of the UNHRC.
“The Philippines is a member of UN. Hence, our government must respect or obey the UN resolution seeking an investigation into the human rights situation in our country,” he said.
Bishop Bastes said the UNHRC should conduct a probe as he lamented how the Philippines has become notorious throughout the whole world for extrajudicial killings.
“The UN should not be fooled by the ‘study’ of Duterte!” he said.
“We do not need the ‘study’ of Duterte whether to allow this investigation! This is absolutely unnecessary because even his own policemen have admitted that about 6,000 persons were killed in an EJK way, although this number is far below the true number of murdered Filipinos,” Bastes added.
“There are thousands of testimonies regarding deaths without the benefit of judicial process!” he said.
Earlier, President Duterte said he would study whether to allow the UN personnel to the Philippines to probe the deaths linked to the administration’s war on drugs.