FALSE: '95 countries in UN review believe there are no EJKs in PH'
Claim: Facebook group Philippines Freedom Wall claimed in a post that 95 United Nations (UN) countries believe there are no extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the country.
The post, dated October 2, included a photo of President Rodrigo Duterte with text that reads, “Dear LP, pikat! (a Visayan expression for teasing) 95 out of 105 countries in UN review believe there are no EJKs in the Philippines.”
At the bottom of the photo, the social media accounts of blog site Mindanation were listed.
The claim was spotted through the social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. Since its posting, it accumulated total reactions, comments, and shares of 1,328.
The facts: This claim has been debunked. The claim originated from a state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) 2017 news report that misquoted Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III, who was then-assistant secretary.
The PNA article, dated May 15, 2017, was headlined “95 nations in 3rd UPR convinced no EJKs in PHL.”
In the report, Densing supposedly said 95 countries were convinced that EJKs were not happening in the country during the 27th Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2017. The UPR is a periodic review of human rights records among 193 members of the UN.
Rappler reported on May 20, 2017, that contrary to the PNA article, Densing said that the Philippine delegations to UPR were "very confident" that 109 countries were convinced by former senator Alan Peter Cayetano's presentation of the human rights situation in the country.
The former assistant secretary also said 95 countries "made interventions" or gave comments and recommendations on the EJKs that happened in the past 9 months at the time. (READ: Countries call for end to killings in PH drug war)
In fact, on May 19, 2017, the UPR tweeted, "To our best knowledge, 95 states were not 'convinced that EJK is non-existent.'"
Aside from the UN mishap, the PNA also claimed that Densing described the information the other countries heard about the drug war as "spoiled and rotten information." This was supposedly released by local media and human rights groups.
Densing told Rappler that he never said those words.
PNA revised their article and replaced the title with "PHL's human rights situation commended at UPR." The said revised article, however, is no longer accessible today.
– Glenda Marie Castro/Rappler.com
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