DuterteReference: Justine Balane, Spokesperson

President Duterte once again made the United Nations a punchline to his jokes. In a speech in Camarines Sur, he declared he will have the UN solve the drug problem if the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) fails as the new head of his murderous campaign against illegal drugs. 

This comes at the heels of his recent admission of failure of his War on Drugs by ‘removing’ himself and the Philippine National Police (PNP) from his anti-drugs campaign after seeing his trust rating slump on the latest survey.

When it comes to the UN, Duterte is all bark but no bite. He previously declared to set up local offices for the UN in every police station and in the same breath, accused the UN of meddling into the country’s affairs.

We call on Duterte to stop treating the UN as a subject of his soundbites. The country is missing an important ally in genuinely addressing the drug problem and the human rights crisis with Duterte’s outbursts. We call on Duterte to accept the UN probe on killings without the compromising conditions.

Duterte’s international relations is a ticking time bomb. Along with rejecting recommendations from the international community to solve the human rights crisis in the Philippines, the Duterte government has also blasted Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, for his statements of grave concern over the murderous war on drugs. Duterte has also blocked all efforts to let the UN probe the killings by verbally attacking Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard and giving them conditions that compromise their investigation.

Akbayan calls on Duterte to heed the Filipino people and the international community’s call to stop the killings and stop silencing dissent. If the Philippines under Duterte is to remain committed to democracy, we should scrap the drug war and solve the drug problem through a human rights- and health-based approach. ###