Duterte camp to UN: He 'will never condone’ killings
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte assured United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday, June 11, that the Philippines’ incoming leader does not condone extrajudicial killings.
“The President-elect has has not endorsed – cannot – and will never endorse extrajudicial killings, they being contrary to law,” incoming presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said in a text message to reporters.
Panelo added, “He does not condone the killing of journalists nor any citizen for that matter, regardless of its purpose. As President, he is bound by his constitutional duty to enforce the law, and under no circumstances will he deviate from it.”
Panelo’s statement comes after Ban strongly condemned Duterte's apparent support of extrajudicial killings, voicing particular concern over his comments seen as justifying murdering journalists.
“I unequivocally condemn his apparent endorsement of extrajudicial killings, which is illegal and a breach of fundamental rights and freedoms," Ban said in a statement on Wednesday, June 8.
Panelo said Ban “obviously…believed the incorrect news reports that gave rise to such wrong perception.”
Read Panelo’s full statement below:
“It is unfortunate that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has issued a statement condemning what he perceives to be an endorsement by President-elect Rodrigo Duterte of extrajudicial killings. Obviously the UN Secretary-General believed the incorrect news reports that gave rise to such wrong perception.
The President-elect has not endorsed – cannot – and will never endorse extrajudicial killings, they being contrary to law. He does not condone the killing of journalists nor any citizen for that matter, regardless of its purpose. As President, he is bound by his constitutional duty to enforce the law, and under no circumstances will he deviate from it.
His utterances on media killings were reported incorrectly, giving rise to the wrong perception that he was encouraging lawless violence. Consequently, he chastises media persons who practice irresponsible journalism. The President-elect reiterates his fealty to the Constitution as well as his determination to suppress criminality in any form. Under a Duterte presidency, the Bill of Rights as enshrined in the Constitution shall be in full bloom.” – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com
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