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HRC35 Joint Oral Statement on the Extrajudicial Killings and the ‘War on Drugs’ in the Philippines

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Joint Oral Statement of the 35th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Agenda Item 3: Clustered Interactive Dialogue with UN SR on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary execution and IE on sexual orientation and gender identity

6 June 2017

Delivered by: Mr Jesus V Garganera

Franciscans International and Forum Asia welcome the report[1] and statements[2] of Dr Agnes Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions, particularly in regards to the ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines.

Since the government launched the campaign in July 2016, more than 7’000 persons including children, have been unlawfully killed. This number keeps increasing, as the Philippine President has made several public statements to continue killing in the anti-drug campaign.

We deplore the situation in the Philippines. The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights called for a prompt, independent and credible investigation into the killings,[3] and more than 45 UN Member States expressed similar concerns during the Philippines UPR in May 2017.[4] However, up until now, no credible and independent investigation has taken place.

As a member of the Council, the Philippine government has failed to not only uphold the highest standard of human rights, but also to cooperate with the Council’s mechanisms, including Special Procedures. The Government also places unacceptable conditions for the Special Rapporteur to conduct her country visit, which would have compromised the integrity of the mandate and the safety of human rights defenders. Recently, the Philippine President publicly threatened to behead any human rights defenders[5] who challenge his policy and further, demand for investigations.

Mr President, we urge the Human Rights Council to:

  • Condemn extrajudicial killings related to the ‘war on drugs’ in the Philippines
  • Urge the Philippine government to stop the killings and establish a credible and independent investigation process.
  • Urge the Philippine government to collaborate with Council mechanisms; by allowing the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Execution to conduct country visit without conditions or delay.
  • Initiate an independent international investigation into allegations of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines related to the ‘war on drugs’ campaign.

I thank you.

For a PDF version of this statement, click here.

[1] See A/HRC/35/23 para 49.
[2] The UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Execution has made several statements on this issue, the latest ones are and
[3] See
[4] See A/HRC/WG.6/27/L.10
[5] See