UK joins global call vs killings in Philippines

By Camille Diola –

30 September 2016

MANILA, Philippines — The United Kingdom, addressing the Human Rights
Council on Thursday, raised concern about the deaths amid the Duterte
administration’s war on drugs in the Philippines.

The latest to join the global call against the thousands of deaths in
recent months, the UK also expressed disapproval for the plan to
reinstate the death penalty in the Philippines.

“We are concerned by the rising death toll associated with the war on
drugs in the Philippines and plans to reinstate the death penalty,” the
UK’s statement at the 33rd session of the United Nations Human Rights
Council read.

The UK also urged the Philippine government to respect “the rule of law,
due legal process, and human rights.”

“We hope that the Philippines will cooperate with the international
human rights system to this effect,” it added.

The United States, United Nations and the European Union had earlier
expressed similar calls, but the comments were dismissed by President
Rodrigo Duterte and his officials who asked international bodies not to
meddle in domestic affairs.

The UK’s statement before the Human Rights Council also cited human
rights problems in other countries, such as Bangladesh and Yemen while
calling other governments to be more open to international assistance
and political dialogue.

Duterte, meanwhile, urged Congress to revive capital punishment, saying
it is a form of retribution rather than a deterrent.

In 2007, the United Nations approved a draft resolution for a universal
ban on capital punishment. The resolution states that execution of
criminals is a violation of human rights, with right to life as the most
fundamental right. Pope Francis similarly called for a global abolition
of death penalty.