“MY government is not in the business of making mummies,” President Rodrigo Duterte said as he insisted yesterday that anyone who would conduct a probe into his drug war and the spate of killings in the country should adhere to Philippine laws.
“I am inviting everyone who wants to know about the extrajudicial killings issue… Investigate me, but let us follow Philippine jurisdictional requirements,” Duterte told his audience during the oath-taking of Malacañang Press Corps officials.
“I will submit to any investigation. I will show them Philippine penal laws and the Constitution… If there’s no offense stated in our laws, then no country can say it’s a crime,” he added.
While the President admitted incidents of extrajudicial killings in the country, he stressed that his government does not sanction them.
“My government is not in the business of making mummies,” the President stressed, referring to the manner the victims’ bodies were wrapped with packaging tapes before being dumped on the streets.
“In the search for truth, no holds barred ‘yan,” he said, proposing an “open” investigation into the killings.
Earlier, the President invited United Nations Chief Ban Ki-Moon, the European Union, and even US President Barack Obama to come to the country and look into alleged summary executions
Duterte however said that international parties should also be willing to answer questions from him in an “open forum.”
“To all of you, EU, Obama, pinupusta ko buhay ko, honor, pati pagka-presidente. Deep down, I know na ako lang makasolba nito,” Duterte said.
“Huwag nila akong takutin sa extrajudicial killing or else I will also demand that US and EU be investigated alongside with me. They have committed far more injustices.”
He reiterated his mouth is not the problem but it is drugs.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the Republic of the Philippines, our problem now is not my mouth. It’s drugs,” said the President.
Records showed that as of Sept. 22, there were about 1,074 drug-related deaths since June 30 when he assumed office.
A United Nations rights rapporteur told AFP Monday she intended to visit the Philippines to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on crime, but was seeking security guarantees for people she planned to speak with.
While the government has yet to issue formal invitations, the UN rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, said she would solicit one.
“I welcome the reports recently (conveyed) through the media that the president and government of the Philippines will invite a UN mission to investigate the alleged extrajudicial executions,” Callamard said in a statement emailed to AFP.
Callamard said that she would insist on a range of measures to ensure that those who spoke with her did not face retribution.
“The date and scope of the fact-finding mission will be discussed and negotiated with the government, along with essential guarantees,” she said.
Those would include “my freedom of movement and freedom of inquiry, and the assurance that those who cooperate with me will not be the object of retaliation, such as intimidation, threats, harassment or punishment,” she said. AFP