Sen. Alan Peter S. Cayetano defended the Duterte administration’s war on drugs before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland last Friday.
Cayetano dispelled allegations of State-sponsored killings under the Duterte administration and stressed that the government’s main goal is to uphold the human dignity of every Filipino.
Cayetano is in Geneva as co-head of the Philippine delegation to the Third Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council.
In a presentation to the UNHRC, the senator pointed out that the Duterte administration’s campaign against crime, illegal drugs, and corruption is being portrayed “wrongfully in the international community.”
“If only there was a less political, more unbiased, and fair way of describing what is happening in the Philippines, we will be having a more constructive discussion rather than groups throwing alternative facts and fake news,” Cayetano said.
He refuted critics’ claims that there had been a spate of extrajudicial killings in the country since the war on drugs started July last year.
According the senator, in the previous administration, there was a “low of 11,000 and a high of 16,000” cases of EJKs.
He noted that the definition of EJKs he is using is that provided by Administrative Order No. 35 under the Aquino administration, which defines extrajudicial killings as “killings wherein the victim was a member of, or affiliated with an organization, to include political, environmental, agrarian, labor, or similar causes; or an advocate of above-named causes; or a media practitioner or person(s) apparently mistaken or identified to be so.”
“Suddenly, during the Duterte administration, all killings are extrajudicial killings,” lamented Cayetano, a staunch ally of the President.
Of the 9,432 reported cases of murder and homicide since the start of the Duterte administration, Cayetano said that only 1,847 cases are considered drug-related.
He said that since the government launched its war on drugs July last year, there was a 408 percent increase in police anti-illegal narcotics operations per day. Deaths under these legitimate operations, he stressed, “were usually caused by suspects fighting back.”
And for every 100 legitimate operations conducted by the Philippine National Police, Cayetano said “only five are killed.”
The senator said this to emphasize that “the numbers are not as alarming as how critics are trying to portray.” (Elena L. Aben)