Robredo on call for U.N. drug war probe: 'Nakakahiya'

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo said it was "shameful" that other countries were more concerned over the drug war killings in the Philippines, after Iceland urged the United Nations (UN) to take concrete actions on these deaths.

"Iyong ibang bansa nababahala para sa atin. Pero dito sa atin, parang ang nababahala yata kaunting kaunti lang. Parang business as usual para sa lahat, kahit ang daming patayan na nangyayari, parang wala lang. Nakakahiya naman yata na iba pa iyong nakapansin, iba pa iyong nagmamalasakit, iba pa iyong nababahala," Robredo said on her radio program Biserbisyong Leni.

(Other countries are worried for us. But here, only few are concerned. It's as though it's business as usual for everyone, despite the thousands of killings. It's like this is nothing. It's shameful that it's the others who take notice, care, and are worried.)

Robredo lamented how the Philippines now seems at par with countries like Sudan and Afghanistan, which have been called out at the UN over human rights violations.

Iceland filed a draft resolution before the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Thursday, July 4, to push it to call for concrete actions on the rising number of killings in the Philippines. The resolution is informally backed by over two dozen countries. (READ: Guevarra says Duterte admin 'prepared to face' U.N. probe into drug war)

If approved, the UNHRC will request rights chief Michelle Bachelet to prepare a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines that will be presented to the council. The report will include killings under the government's bloody anti-drug campaign.

Such a move had been hit in the past by the Duterte administration, which is averse to international interference. The opposition to foreign probes culminated with President Rodrigo Duterte withdrawing from the International Criminal Court as he did not want it to probe an issue which, he said, can be handled by Philippine courts.

Robredo also hit Senator Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa's comment that the death of minors in the drug war was "collateral damage," saying it would not take place if gaps in the government's drug campaign were addressed. Dela Rosa was the architect of the infamous Oplan Tokhang as the Philippines' former police chief.

"Hindi puwedeng sabihin na 'talagang nangyayari iyan'.... Kung wala tayong gawin kahit may nangyari nang ganito...kasalanan na natin iyon," Robredo said.

(We can't just say "that really happens".... If we don't do anything when things like this happen...it's on us.)

Robredo earlier questioned the Duterte administration's move to reject an independent UN probe into alleged human rights violations in the country. She said Duterte and his men should have no problems with the probe if they did not commit any wrongdoing. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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