Palace denies shoot-to-kill policy for drug suspects

Palace denies shoot-to-kill policy for drug suspects”

Philippine lawmakers allied with President Rodrigo Duterte have voted to allocate an annual budget of just 1000 pesos ($25) to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), a public body that has clashed repeatedly with Duterte over his bloody war on drugs. It aims to wipe out the drug trade in the Philippines, but has attracted global criticism over the number of deaths.

"This lack of respect for the due process rights of all Filipinos is appalling", the United Nations human rights chief added.

This was in response to Al-Hussein's speech on Monday.

Representative Rodante Marcoleta said the commission should also be investigating rights abuses committed by communist rebels and Islamist militants.

"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", a part of the High Commissioner's opening said.

Zeid said Duterte's remark clearly showed "lack of respect for the due process rights of all Filipinos".

"Two days after hundreds of people turned out for the teenager's funeral, the President again told police they would not be punished for killing suspects who resist arrest".

The Duterte administration has many times defended the drug war, saying it does not sanction executions of drug suspects.

Aside from Delos Santos' death, Zeid took exception as well to Duterte's threat to bomb schools of indigenous children or the Lumad, which Malacañang as well as the military had clarified.

But Abella said the campaign against illegal drugs aims to "preserve lives".

Abella, however, said the United Nations top official merely "missed" Duterte's context when he made the remarks.

Congressman Edcel Lagman, who opposed the budget cut, said the president's supporters in Congress were "virtually imposing the death penalty on a constitutionally created and mandated independent office".

On the issue on bombing indigenous schools, Abella said it would be better to focus on the Duterte administration's efforts for their education, claiming their program will receive P130.43 million to support nearly three million indigenous students.

"On the issue of human rights workers who are part of the drug trade or human rights workers who obstruct justice, the President is referring to human rights activists who aid or abet acts of violence during legitimate police operations where authorities have the right of self-defense", he added.

De Lima, among the administration's most vocal critics, has been detained since February on drug charges.

Abella also noted that De Lima's case is not politically motivated.

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