Posts Tagged ‘United Nations’

North Korea: U.S Secretary of State Rex Tillerson To Brief at U.N. Friday as Trump Warns of ‘Major, Major Conflict’

April 28, 2017

US president says he wants to seek a diplomatic solution to crisis in Korea and reveals China is helping to pressure Kim Jong-un

 .US President Trump speaks during an interview in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington.
US President Trump speaks during an interview in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Donald Trump has said that a “major conflict” was possible with North Korea though he would prefer to solve the standoff over the country’s nuclear and missile programme through diplomacy.

Trump’s warning on Thursday came towards the end of a week where the administration has made a concerted effort to restrain Pyongyang from carrying out major new weapons tests.

At the same time, US officials sought to clarify US policy after a variety of mixed signals in the administration’s first 100 days.

Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, said that the US would be prepared to enter into direct talks with the regime of Kim Jong-un, but that it would have to prepare to negotiate getting rid of all its nuclear weapons.

The opening to diplomacy came as the head of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris told the Senate that the standoff with North Korea was the worst he had seen. It was an assessment echoed by the president.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters.

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” the president added.

Trump suggested there had been a breakthrough in Chinese readiness to help apply pressure on Kim since Xi Jinping visited the US president in Florida earlier this month.

“I believe he [the Chinese president] is trying very hard. He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it. He is a good man. He is a very good man and I got to know him very well,” Trump said.

“With that being said, he loves China and he loves the people of China. I know he would like to be able to do something, perhaps it’s possible that he can’t.”

Tillerson had earlier said the Chinese had warned Pyongyang, an increasingly unruly client in recent years, that it would impose punitive measures if North Korea carried out provocative tests.

“We know that China is in communications with the regime in Pyongyang,” he told Fox News. “They confirmed to us that they had requested the regime conduct no further nuclear test.”

According to Tillerson, the Chinese told the regime “that if they did conduct further nuclear tests, China would be taking sanctions actions on their own”.

The secretary of state said that the North Korean regime viewed its nuclear weapons and missile programmes as a guarantee of survival, and that the Trump administration sought to change that mindset.

“We want to change that calculus of theirs and we have said to them: your pathway to survival and security is to eliminate your nuclear weapons and we and other countries will help you on the way to economic development,” Tillerson said. He assured Pyongyang that the US objective was ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons, not toppling Kim Jong-un.

“We do not seek a regime change in North Korea. We are not seeking the collapse of the regime.”

Tillerson said that the US administration would “wait as long as it takes” for talks to start providing North Korea conducted no new nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

The secretary of state did not directly reply to a question on whether this policy was very similar to the “strategic patience” pursued by the Obama administration, which Tillerson had earlier said had come to an end.

In his Oval Office interview with Reuters, Trump offered an assessment of Kim.

Asked if he considered the North Korean leader to be rational he noted that Kim had taken over his country at an early age.

“He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age,” he said.

“I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit, I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he’s rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he’s rational,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a sign that North Korea’s regional neighbours are taking the threat of a conflict seriously, Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull warned that Pyongyang could launch a nuclear attack on nations and claimed China has not applied enough pressure on the regime.

“There is the possibility and the risk that North Korea could launch an attack on its neighbours,” Turnbull said on 3AW radio.

“That is the reason why there is so much effort being put into seeking to stop this reckless and dangerous conduct by the North Korean regime. They are a real threat to the peace and stability in the region and to the whole world.”

Turnbull said while North Korea was often a subject of satire, the country had nuclear weapons and regularly threatened to use them.

“Their threats can appear sometimes to be theatrical and over the top and they have been the subject of satire but I can assure you that my government takes … the threat of North Korea very seriously,” he said.

On Friday morning Tillerson will chair a special ministerial session of the UN security council on North Korea, aimed at convincing other members to impose existing sanctions on Pyongyang more rigorously.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/28/donald-trump-warns-of-major-major-conflict-with-north-korea

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Trump Warns That ‘Major, Major Conflict’ With North Korea Is Possible

HONG KONG — President Trump warned Thursday of the possibility of a “major, major conflict” with North Korea, in an interview in which he said he was seeking a diplomatic solution to concerns that Pyongyang was preparing to conduct another nuclear test.

In the interview with Reuters, Mr. Trump praised President Xi Jinping of China for his efforts to resolve the dispute over North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs, but he cautioned that diplomatic efforts might fail.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea,” he said. “Absolutely.”

Mr. Trump’s remarks came amid signs that North Korea might soon conduct another underground detonation at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site despite Mr. Trump’s warning not to do so. China has played a mediating role in the crisis, as Mr. Trump has urged Mr. Xi to use Beijing’s leverage with North Korea, a longtime ally, to persuade it not to conduct a test.

“I believe he is trying very hard. He certainly doesn’t want to see turmoil and death. He doesn’t want to see it,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Xi. “He is a good man. He is a very good man, and I got to know him very well.”

In the interview, Mr. Trump actually offered some grudging praise for North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un.

“He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime,” he said. “So say what you want, but that is not easy, especially at that age.”

“I hope he’s rational,” Mr. Trump added of Mr. Kim.

The United States has been pressing the United Nations to impose more sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs. The diplomatic efforts have coincided with military maneuvers by the United States and South Korea in Pocheon, northeast of Seoul, South Korea, where the allies have demonstrated some of their latest weapons. In addition, the Michigan, a submarine armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, has arrived in the South Korean port city of Busan. And a Navy strike group led by the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson has been sent to the Sea of Japan, which borders the Korean Peninsula.

Source:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/27/world/asia/trump-north-korea-kim-jong-un.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fworld&action=click&contentCollection=world&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

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UNESCO May Be Set To Deny Israeli Sovereignty Over East Jerusalem — Israel May Have “Lost” European Support

April 27, 2017
BY TOVAH LAZAROFF
The Jerusalem Post
APRIL 27, 2017 14:09
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The new text, which Israel has yet to see, would replace an initial draft from last month, which contests Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem
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Israel fers the eleven srael fears that eleven European nations together with Arab states have co-authored a number of anti-Israel resolutions that UNESCO’s Executive Board in Paris will vote on at its May 2 meeting, diplomatic sources told The Jerusalem Post.

The new text, which Israel has yet to see, would replace an initial draft from last month, which contests Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem.

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 That initial March draft put forward solely by Arab states said: “any action taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the City of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever.”

Past resolutions approved by UNESCO have refused to accept Israel’s annexation of east Jerusalem, including the Old City.

This text would mark the first time that the UNESCO Executive Board has been asked to reject Israeli sovereignty over western Jerusalem.

Israel is concerned that the new draft, co-authored by the ten European countries, will include the clause rejecting Israeli sovereignty over western Jerusalem, a move which threatens to delegitimize the government of the Jewish state, according to diplomats.

Israel’s main governing bodies — its parliament, prime minister’s office, foreign ministry and supreme court — are all located in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem.

Israeli officials could not help noting that the cynicism of passing such a resolution on Israel’s Independence Day.

“UNESCO has returned to the ritual of political anti-Israeli decisions that undermines anything Israel does in Jerusalem,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement it released on Thursday in advance of the vote.

Ten of the 54 UNESCO Executive Board members are EU states. This includes: Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. The United Kingdom, which is in the process of withdrawing from the EU is also on the executive board as is the United States.

The resolution comes as US President Donald Trump is weighing the question of relocating the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the western part of Jerusalem.

The international community is split over recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Jerusalem, with many countries acknowledging Israel’s governing bodies there, without formally accepting its status as part of Israel.

Such a text would highlight Jerusalem’s tenuous political status in the eyes of the international community, which already places its embassies in Tel Aviv rather than in Israel’s capital.

The May 2 text is also expected to reaffirm that the Jewish holy sites of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are “an integral part of Palestine.” Muslims consider both places to be holy to Islam and refer to them as the Ibrahimi Mosque and the Bilal bin Rabah Mosque.

Absent from the text is the controversial issue of the Temple Mount.

For the last two years, Arab states at UNESCO, backed by the Palestinians have attempted to reclassify the Jewish holy sites of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount solely by their Muslim names of the Buraq Wall and the al-Haram al-Sharif.

Israel was not able to prevent the passage of the resolutions, but its Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen said that Western governments and Russia pressed the Palestinians to drop the matter.

In the new text on Jerusalem, there is no mention in any language of the two holy sites. Instead the resolution reaffirms “the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls for the three monotheistic religions.”

It does however, have a line asking for reaffirmation of past texts referencing the sites only by their Muslims names.

Last year five European countries voted against the resolution ignoring Jerusalem ties to the Temple Mount; Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia and Lithuania. While six European countries abstained.

Berlin and Israel have been at odds over the last few months, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refusing to meet this week German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel during his visit to Israel. Netanyahu was upset that Gabriel and met with the Left-wing group Breaking the Silence.

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http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israel-fears-European-Arab-anti-Israel-resolution-at-UNESCO-489135
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is alleged to have killed some 8,000 people — Now a lawyer wants the International Criminal Court to hear the facts

April 24, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File / by Sophie MIGNON | Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs is alleged to have killed some 8,000 people

THE HAGUE (AFP) – 

A Philippine lawyer on Monday filed a complaint at the world’s only permanent war crimes court against President Rodrigo Duterte, alleging his war on drugs has caused some 8,000 deaths.

Lawyer Jude Sabio urged the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate Duterte and senior adminstration officials and bring charges of crimes against humanity against them for “the terrifying and gruesome situation of continuing mass murder in the Philippines”.

Sabio, who is the lawyer for Duterte’s confessed hitman Edgar Matobato, said the president “began his strategy or system of eliminating or killing persons suspected of crimes, including drug addicts and pushers” when he became mayor of Davao City in 1988.

“The ‘repeated, unchanging and continuous’ mass murder being conducted by the President Duterte has already resulted into the deaths of not less than 1,400 individuals in Davao City under his Davao Death Squad and not less than 7,000 individuals in his war on drugs at the national level,” the filing said.

Sabio travelled to The Hague to hand over his complaint in person to the office of ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

There was no immediate reply from her office to an AFP request for comment, but Bensouda in October issued a strong statement about the alleged killings, warning those responsible could face prosecution.

“I am deeply concerned about these alleged killings and the fact that public statements from high officials of the… Philippines seem to condone such killings,” she said.

“Let me be clear: any person in the Philippines who incites or engages in acts of mass violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging or contributing… to the commission of crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC is potentially liable for prosecution before the court.”

Duterte won election by a landslide last May largely on his promise to launch a war on illegal drugs.

Although the campaign has proved popular at home, the president has faced international criticism for the thousands of alleged extrajudicial killings.

– Police probe under way –

The government denies the allegations, and presidential spokesman Ernie Abella said Monday that police were already probing those suspected “of violating procedures.”

He also pointed to an investigation by the country’s Senate, in which Matobato was a star witness, and said the ICC “as a court of last resort, will only exercise jurisdiction over a case once legal remedies in the Philippines have been exhausted.”

The so-called ‘extrajudicial killings’, are not state-sanctioned or state-sponsored. Police authorities are conducting legitimate operations that require observance of operational protocols,” Abella added.

Since it began work in 2002, the ICC says the prosecutor’s office has received some 10,000 requests from individuals, groups or countries to investigate alleged crimes.

It is then up to the prosecutor to decide if there is enough cause to open a preliminary inquiry into whether a full-blown investigation is then merited. There are currently 10 preliminary examinations, and 10 full investigations under way.

A total of 23 cases have been dealt with, securing nine convictions and one acquittal. Five trials are ongoing.

by Sophie MIGNON
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Lawyer for Philippines hit-man files complaint against President Duterte at International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity

April 24, 2017

Reuters

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during a meeting with the Filipino community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
By Clare Baldwin and Stephanie van den Berg | HONG KONG/THE HAGUE

A Philippines lawyer filed a complaint at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Rodrigo Duterte and senior officials on Monday, accusing them of crimes against humanity in a nationwide anti-drugs crackdown.

Attorney Jude Sabio said in the 77-page complaint that Duterte “repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously” committed crimes against humanity and that under him, killing drug suspects and other criminals has become “best practice”.

Sabio is the lawyer for Edgar Matobato, a man who has testified in the Philippines Senate that he was part of a hit squad that operated on Duterte’s orders.

It is the first publicly known communication to the ICC against Duterte and is based on the testimony of Matobato and retired policeman Arturo Lascanas, statements from rights groups and media reports, including a Reuters series on the killings.

The complaint alleges that Duterte and at least 11 senior government officials are liable for murder and calls for an investigation, arrest warrants and a trial.

Lawmakers found no proof of Matobato’s Senate testimony, which the president’s aides have dismissed as fabrication.

Almost 9,000 people have been killed since Duterte took office last summer. Police claim a third of those killings were in self-defence during legitimate police operations. Rights groups say many of the remaining two-thirds were committed by vigilantes cooperating with the police or by police disguised as vigilantes. Police deny this.

Duterte has persistently denied he is involved with any death squad and said that his orders to kill drug suspects come with the caveat that police should operate within the bounds of the law.

Ernesto Abella, a spokesman for Duterte, said last week authorities “follow operational protocols” and those who breached procedures were made to answer before the law.

He added that news reports about close to 9,000 people being killed in the drug war was “false news”.

“We can confirm we have received a communication,” the ICC Office of the Prosecutor said in a statement. “We will analyse it, as appropriate. As soon as we reach a decision, we will inform the sender and provide reasons for our decision.”

Officials at Duterte’s office said they were not immediately able to comment.

FIRST STEP

Since it was set up in July 2002, the ICC has received over 12,0000 complaints or communications. Nine of these cases have gone to trial and six verdicts have been delivered.

The ICC has no powers of enforcement, and any non-compliance has to be referred to the United Nations or the court’s own oversight and legislative body, the Assembly of States Parties.

The complaint is only a possible first step in what could be a long process at the ICC. The tribunal first has to decide whether it has jurisdiction, and then decide whether it should conduct a preliminary examination.

It can then ask a judge to open an official investigation, which could lead to a trial.

Duterte has said he welcomed the prospect of the ICC putting him on trial. He said last month he would not be intimidated and his campaign against drugs would be unrelenting and “brutal”.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said last year her office was following developments in the Philippines “with a view to assessing whether a preliminary examination needs to be opened”.

“I am deeply concerned about these alleged killings and the fact that public statements of high officials of the Republic of the Philippines seem to condone such killings and further seem to encourage state forces and civilians alike to continue targeting these individuals with lethal force,” she said.

(Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

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Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

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High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

U.N. Finds Torture Widespread in Afghanistan

April 24, 2017

Reuters

April 24, 2017

at 3:09 a.m.

Reuters

Afghan National Police (ANP) officers march at a training centre near the German Bundeswehr army camp in Kunduz, northern Afghanistan December 3, 2012. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch REUTERS

By Josh Smith

KABUL (Reuters) – Torture and mistreatment of detainees by Afghan security forces is as widespread as ever, according to a U.N. report released on Monday, despite promises by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and new laws enacted by the government.

At least 39 percent of the conflict-related detainees interviewed by U.N. investigators “gave credible and reliable accounts” of being tortured or experiencing other mistreatment at the hands of Afghan police, intelligence, or military personnel while in custody.

That compares with 35 percent of interviewees who reported such ill treatment in the last U.N. report, released in 2015.

In response to allegations in the past, the Afghan government has acknowledged that some problems could be caused by individuals but not as any national policy.

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“The government of Afghanistan is committed to eliminating torture and ill-treatment,” the government said in a statement.

The U.N. report comes as senior Afghan officials prepare to appear before the U.N. Committee Against Torture in Geneva this week to face a review of Afghanistan’s record of implementing anti-torture laws.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is conducting a separate review of torture in Afghanistan.

“Notwithstanding the government’s efforts to implement its national plan … the present report documents continued and consistent reports of torture and ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees, mainly during interrogation, and highlights a lack of accountability for such acts,” U.N. officials concluded.

Over the past two years, investigators interviewed 469 detainees in 62 detention centers across Afghanistan.

The report’s authors noted an alarming 14-percent spike in reports of torture by Afghan National Police, at 45 percent of those interviewed.

More than a quarter of the 77 detainees who reported being tortured by the police were boys under the age of 18, according to the United Nations.

A force known as the Afghan Local Police severely beat almost 60 percent of their detainees, according to the interviews carried out by U.N. investigators.

Nearly 30 percent of interviewees held by Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, said they had faced torture or mistreatment.

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Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. UN Photo -Jean-Marc Ferré

Afghan National Army soldiers were also accused of mistreating some detainees, but the prisoners held by the army usually fall in categories less vulnerable to torture, the United Nations noted.

The majority of detainees who were tortured said it was to elicit a confession, and the ill treatment stopped once they signed a written confession, which in many cases, they could not read.

“Torture does not enhance security,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement. “Confessions produced as a result of torture are totally unreliable. People will say anything to stop the pain.”

Among the methods described in the report were severe beatings to the body and soles of the feet with sticks, plastic pipes or cables, electric shocks, including to the genitals, prolonged suspension by the arms, and suffocation.

(Writing by Josh Smith; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Philippines: Presidential Spokesman Calls 7,000 Extrajudicial Killings “Fake News” (It’s actually more like 9,000) — Further Erodes Credibility of Philippine Government, Philippine National Police (PNP)

April 21, 2017
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella called reports on more than 7,000 extralegal killings “false news.” PCOO/King Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesperson on Friday called reports of nearly 9,000 drug-related deaths “false news,” months after media organizations and international groups used the figure in their reports.

Ernesto Abella, the presidential spokesperson, said that the persistent reports of more 7,000 killed, which is now said to be nearly 9,000, was “false news” as the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that the figure was much lower.

“On the number of extrajudicial deaths, the persistent news reports of 7,000 killed, which is now being said to be close to 9,000, is false,” Abella said.

The president’s spokesperson said that based on official police data there were only 6,011 homicide cases being investigated. Of the figure, only 1,398 cases were found to be drug related, contrary to reports that 9,000 have already been killed in anti-illegal drugs operations, Abella said.

Abella, meanwhile, called on organizations which report on drug incidents to be fair and not to rush to judgment as he emphasized that people appreciated the changes being implemented by the administration and the way these were carried out.

“We ask to be understood not just from a single perspective, but from the point of view of Filipinos who desire change, stability and fairness,” Abella said.

The number of murders and homicide cases, however, have risen dramatically at the start of the Duterte administration last year despite government’s denial that they are related to the brutal war on drugs. Drug experts also acknowledge that stringent law enforcement policy against narcotics have historically resulted in unnecessary violence and deaths.

Abella’s comments came days after a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that public satisfaction with the government’s conduct of the war on drugs plunging by 11 points, from +77 in December 2016 to +66 in March 2017.

He also assuaged American concern on the increasing extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, saying that those who breached protocol would be made to account.

“We share the concern of US Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia Patrick Murphy, who has been quoted in the media saying ‘there are elements of the drug war that are operating outside the rule of law,’” the spokesperson said.

Abella said that the PNP has an Internal Affairs Service which would probe into cases of police violations.

“This body can suspend or dismiss PNP personnel based on violations incurred and can recommend the filing of criminal charges,” he said.

He said that security forces followed procedures in conducting their operations although force may be used to protect the safety of the police.

“Local authorities follow operation protocols and the proper enforcement of our laws requires the use of reasonable force merited by the attendant circumstances,” he said.

Not a single cop, however, has been accused by police investigators before a court of unjustifiably killing drug suspects in police operations. President Rodrigo Duterte himself said he will defend and pardon cops accused of wrongdoing in the field.

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2017/04/21/1692511/abella-calls-7000-extrajudicial-killings-fake-news

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Image may contain: outdoor
Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl — killed in President Duterte’s war on drugs — looks like it has been put out with the trash….. Presidential spokeman Abella said the war on drugs is for the next generation of Filipinos.
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Image may contain: 2 people

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

Image may contain: text

No automatic alt text available.

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

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 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

 

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

 

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Philippines: National Police killings ‘committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population’ — ‘Reign of terror’ — ‘Extermination’ — Insiders talking to evidence gatherers for the International Criminal Court

April 18, 2017
At least 39 people were killed in police operations during Holy Week as Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa proved true to his word that there would be no Lenten break in the war on drugs. AP/Bullit Marquez, file
  • Almost 9,000 people killed since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June
  • Two senior officials have claimed that police orchestrated many of those killings 
  • Police paid to kill drug suspects and – for 10,000 pesos ($200) a head – rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other ‘troublemakers’

The Philippine police have given bonuses for killing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the murders they blamed on vigilantes, said two senior officers.

The officials, who are critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘war on drugs,’ challenged the government’s explanations of the killings in interviews.

Almost 9,000 people, many small-time users and dealers, have been killed since Duterte took office on June 30. Police say about a third of the victims were shot by officers in self-defence during legitimate anti-drug operations.

Human rights monitors believe the remaining two thirds were killed by paid assassins working with police or by police disguised as vigilantes – a charge the police deny.

Philippine police have received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes, claim officials critical of President Rodrigo Duterte's (pictured) 'war on drugs'

Philippine police have received cash payments for executing drug suspects, planted evidence at crime scenes and carried out most of the killings they have long blamed on vigilantes, claim officials critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s (pictured) ‘war on drugs’

The two senior officers, one a retired police intelligence officer and the other an active-duty commander, claimed the killings are in fact orchestrated by the police, including most of those carried out by vigilantes. They spoke on the condition of anonymity.

‘It is the Philippine National Police doing it,’ said the retired intelligence officer.

‘This killing machine must be buried six feet under the ground.’ He said he was angry about the impact of the killings on police discipline and wanted ‘to put Duterte on the defensive.’ Reuters was unable to independently verify if the police are behind vigilante killings.

The president’s office and the Philippine police did not respond to questions from Reuters.

The intelligence officer has authored an unpublished 26-page report on the conduct of the drug war in an effort to organize opposition to Duterte’s campaign.

The report, titled ‘The State-Sponsored Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines,’ provides granular detail on the campaign’s alleged methods, masterminds and perpetrators. The document has been shared with leaders of the Catholic Church in the Philippines and with the government-funded Commission on Human Rights.

Some of the report’s accusations against individuals could not be confirmed by Reuters; the news agency is therefore not publishing the full document.

Many of its findings, however, support and expand upon previous investigations of the drug war by Reuters and independent human rights monitors.

Human rights monitors believe paid assassins operating with police backing or by police disguised as vigilantes killed two thirds of the 9,000 people who have died since June 30 - a charge police deny

Human rights monitors believe paid assassins operating with police backing or by police disguised as vigilantes killed two thirds of the 9,000 people who have died since June 30 – a charge police deny

The report claims that police are paid to kill not just drug suspects, but also – for 10,000 pesos ($200) a head – rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other ‘troublemakers.’

It also claims that civilian members of the so-called Davao Death Squad, which rights activists allege killed hundreds of people in Duterte’s hometown of Davao, were drafted to ‘augment and assist’ the police’s current nationwide anti-drug operation.

The report doesn’t provide documentary evidence for its accusations, which the intelligence officer said were based on accounts from 17 serving or former policemen, including the commander Reuters interviewed. The police commander said he agreed to talk because he was upset that authorities are targeting only petty drug suspects. ‘Why aren’t they killing the suppliers?’ he asked. ‘Only the poor are dying.’

The second half of the report is largely political in nature, asserting that Duterte has close ties to Communist forces in the Philippines. Many in the military and police are concerned by what they see as Duterte’s leftist sympathies. Since taking office, the president has released Communist rebels from prison to restart peace talks.

The report also calls the drug war a ‘social cleansing’ campaign similar to that launched in Mao Zedong’s China, with Duterte aiming to have drug addicts ‘physically eliminated.’

The Commission on Human Rights has reviewed the report and the accounts could open up new leads in ongoing investigations, said chairman Chito Gascon. Church officials confirmed receiving the report as well.

A report claims that police are paid to kill not just drug suspects, but also - for 10,000 pesos ($200) a head - rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other 'troublemakers' (pictured, police interrogating local residents in operation against drugs

A report claims that police are paid to kill not just drug suspects, but also – for 10,000 pesos ($200) a head – rapists, pickpockets, swindlers, gang members, alcoholics and other ‘troublemakers’ (pictured, police interrogating local residents in operation against drugs

‘We should do all we can to follow any lead that could ultimately shed light on these killings with the view to ultimately holding the perpetrators to account,’ said Gascon.

The fresh claims come amid growing criticism of the drug war. In February, the country’s influential Catholic Church called it a ‘reign of terror.’ The campaign has also sparked street protests and lawsuits.

Duterte’s police chief, Ronald Dela Rosa, halted police operations for most of February after it emerged that an anti-drug unit had kidnapped and murdered a South Korean businessman last year. The killings continued but at a slower pace. On March 6, Dela Rosa announced that the police were resuming their drug operations.

In March, a former policeman, Arturo Lascanas, testified in the Philippine Senate about his role in vigilante-style killings in the southern city of Davao, where Duterte was once mayor. Lascanas was the second Senate witness to link Duterte to the Davao Death Squad. Duterte denies ordering any killings, either as president or mayor.

In a subsequent interview, Lascanas told Reuters that for over a decade he was paid for carrying out the liquidation of drug suspects and criminals. In the early 1990s, he said, he was paid 3,000 to 5,000 pesos ($60-$100) for each of the ‘jobs’ he performed.

By the early 2000s he was earning tens of thousands of pesos for each operation, he said. Lascanas said he had no documentary proof of the payments. He has since left the country.

In the past nine months, police acknowledge having shot dead more than 2,600 suspects during their operations. They say such shootings occur after suspects open fire on undercover officers trying to catch them dealing drugs.

It also claims that civilian members of the so-called Davao Death Squad, which rights activists allege killed hundreds of people in Duterte's hometown of Davao, were drafted to 'augment and assist' the police's current nationwide anti-drug operation. Pictured, Duterte with Trade Secretary Liam Fox)

It also claims that civilian members of the so-called Davao Death Squad, which rights activists allege killed hundreds of people in Duterte’s hometown of Davao, were drafted to ‘augment and assist’ the police’s current nationwide anti-drug operation. Pictured, Duterte with UK Trade Secretary Liam Fox

But these so-called ‘buy-busts’ are actually well-planned executions, said the commander interviewed by Reuters. The commander said targets are chosen from lists of suspects drawn up by police and local officials, who later coordinate to unplug security cameras in the neighbourhood where a killing is planned. According to the report, street lamps are also switched off.

‘There is no such thing as a legitimate buy-bust,’ the commander said. ‘The dealers know the cops and won’t sell to them.’

Instead, he said, a team of police operatives will execute the target, who is almost always unarmed, then plant guns and drugs at the crime scene to justify the use of deadly force.

‘We have to plant evidence for the legality of the operation,’ the commander said. ‘We are ordered to do these operations, so we have to protect ourselves.’

The commander said officers put the gun in the dead suspect’s hand and pull the trigger with the victim’s finger so forensic testing will show that the suspect fired a gun.

Late last year, he said, police crime-scene investigators told their fellow officers to place the guns at a slight distance from the suspects, rather than in their hands, to make things look more realistic.

Most drug suspects in his precinct are shot by rookie cops who are either eager for the experience or nominated by their superiors, the commander said. The superiors refer to this as a ‘baptism by fire.’

Each member of the team is quickly paid according to two factors, said the commander: his role in the killing and the target’s value.

According to the report, the cash ‘reward scales’ for drug killings range from 20,000 pesos ($400) for a ‘street level pusher and user,’ to 50,000 pesos for a member of a neighborhood council, one million pesos for ‘distributors, retailers and wholesalers,’ and five million for ‘drug lords.’

Police officers kill for money, said the commander, but also out of fear: Even the police are afraid of being included on a ‘watch list’ of drug suspects drawn up by police and local officials.

Officials have been killed for not cooperating, he added. He said he was aware of two cases but did not provide details on exactly what happened.

Most drug suspects in his precinct are shot by rookie cops who are either eager for the experience or nominated by their superiors, the commander said. Pictured, armed Filipino policemen stand guard next to the wall of a prison facility

Most drug suspects in his precinct are shot by rookie cops who are either eager for the experience or nominated by their superiors, the commander said. Pictured, armed Filipino policemen stand guard next to the wall of a prison facility

Reuters reported last year that the watch lists were effectively hit lists, with many of those named ending up dead. Another Reuters investigation showed that police officers were killing 97 percent of the suspects they confront in violent buy-bust operations, the strongest evidence yet that the police were summarily executing suspects.

Officers also cooperate because they know the police force’s flawed disciplinary system, which fails to adequately investigate even a fraction of the killings, means there is little chance they will get caught, said the intelligence officer.

One sign of the drug war’s success, says the government, is that more than a million users and pushers have voluntarily registered with the police, a process known as ‘surrendering.’

But the commander said police are given a quota of ‘surrenderers,’ and fill it by using city ordinances to arrest men who are drunk or shirtless – a misdemeanor known as ‘half-naked’ – then forcing them to register as drug suspects.

Reuters learned of the intelligence officer’s 26-page report from him and interviewed two Catholic priests in Manila who said they had encouraged him to compile it. One of the priests said he edited the report; the other said he helped distribute it among a small group of clerics and human rights activists. Both are helping organize opposition to Duterte’s drug campaign.

The Church’s initial reluctance to criticize Duterte’s drug war was prompted by a desire to ‘give him a chance’ when he took office, said one of the priests. But the killings, along with the president’s overtures to Communists, made many in the Church feel their values were under attack, he said.

The intelligence officer said he hoped the report would be used as evidence at the International Criminal Court. In October, the Hague-based tribunal said it could prosecute suspects if the killings were ‘committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4421430/Police-kill-rewards-staged-crime-scenes-Dutertes-drug-war.html#ixzz4ecS4W7LE
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

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Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

Image may contain: text

No automatic alt text available.

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl looks like it has been put out with the trash…..
.

 

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

 

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
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Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
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President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

 

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

India, Pakistan disagreements spill over into water issues

April 17, 2017

NEW DELHI: India has put on hold a World Bank-facilitated initiative for water secretary-level talks with Pakistan in Washington, owing to differences of opinion on techical issues of Indus River water projects.

Persons familiar with the issue told ET that further expert level technical discussions are imperative before the two secretaries can meet. The meeting would be futile if the water resources secretaries meet without the requisite preparation, said one of the persons.

Incidentally, India’s move to cancel talks comes close on the heels of Pakistani military tribunal’s order to execute Kulbhusban Jadhav. Delhi has put on hold a maritime dialogue with Pakistan and weighing several other tough political and legal options to safeguard Jadhav.

Persons familiar with the developments told ET that efforts to safeguard Jadhav could be a prolonged process as it involves several legal procedures within Pakistan as well as through the United Nations.

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The Pakistani side, following the Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) meeting last month, had announced that water resources secretaries will meet in the US capital on April 11-13 to discuss differences over the Kishanganga and Ratle hydropower projects on the river Indus.

Islamabad has been protesting over the design and construction of two projects — the 330MW Kishanganga hydroelectric project and the 850MW Ratle hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir. Islamabad has been demanding international arbitration through the World Bank.

Image may contain: outdoor and water

The World Bank, which brokered the Indus Waters Treaty of 1960, had said it is prepared to facilitate the meeting. “We continue to work with both countries to resolve the issue in an amicable manner and in line with the spirit of the treaty. We hope the two countries will come to an agreement soon,” Alexander Anthony Ferguson, World Bank’s senior manager communications (South Asia) said in a statement last month.

The PIC annual meet (held in Pakistan) for 2016-17 was first after all bilateral dialogue under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) was suspended following terror strikes on an army camp in Uri last September by Pakbased terror groups. However, attempting to signal a thaw in ties, India decided to hold PIC meet before the end of financial year in March. The 10-member Indian delegation at PIC is led by Indian Indus Water Commissioner PK Saxena.

However, Delhi has taken strong exception to the World Bank’s decision to set up a court of arbitration as desired by Pakistan, and to also appoint a neutral expert, as wanted by India, over the two projects. It said proceeding with both steps simultaneously was “legally untenable”.

In January this year, Pakistan had asked India to stop work on these two projects.

Read more at:
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/58213389.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

 

Philippine President Duterte offers peace, rich resources, no corruption to Qatari investors — But human rights groups says “Extrajudicial killings, disregard for due process, and a weak criminal justice system are the most pressing human rights problems in the Philippines.”

April 15, 2017
/ 11:40 PM April 15, 2017
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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
President Rodrigo Duterte. (File photo by WONG MAYE-E / AP)
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The Philippines, despite its Moro and communist insurgencies, is basically a peaceful country that is rich in natural resources both on land and at sea. And the current administration has been is dead set on wiping out government corruption and crime, especially the trade in illegal drugs.

That’s the pitch that President Rodrigo Duterte made to potential Qatari investors in the Philippines in a speech he made at the Philippine-Qatar Business

Forum held on Saturday in Doha, which is the last stop in his Holy Week visit to three Middle East countries, including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.Present at the forum were members of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce Inc. (QCCI) led by Chairman Sheikh Khalifa Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al Thani and Qatari business and government executives. Duterte was accompanied by his entourage, including Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.

In his speech, aired live by the ABS-CBN News Channel, Duterte reassured his audience that the Philippines was really peaceful, saying: “We do not have problems with our rebellions now.”

As to the Moro rebellion, he said: “There are a lot of Muslims in my Cabinet. We are trying to work out something now. And I hope that Lord would be most gracious for us, the Most Merciful One would grant us peace. And we hope to succeed in our peace talks. We are ready to reconfigure the land. We are ready to concede what was lost from them. And the only thing that I ask from the Moro people is that we did not know that you were all victims of imperialism.“

He referred to Spain and the United States, both former colonizers of the Philippines.

He added, however, that it would take some time to come with ways on how to correct the “historical injustice” that the Muslims in Mindanao.

Moving on to natural resources, Duterte said: “The Philippines is an agricultural country. We know that we can offer so many things from the bounties of the earth. We have mining. We have everything.”

The president then dwelled a bit on sea resources, announcing that he had ordered military to occupy 10 still uninhabited islands in the West Philippine Sea to show that Philippines was claiming ownership.

“Everybody is grabbing every land there in the South China Sea,” he said. “Now if we do not act fast, we will end up with nothing.”

He also revealed that he had asked that Benham Rise, on the east side of Luzon, be renamed as the Philippine Ridge.

“I announced to all, including America, that this is ours,” he said.

“So, if you go into business, the Philippines is big enough to accommodate any kind of vegetation,“ he added.

But the Philippines, he said, lost large chunks of forest, mostly to non-Filipino lumber companies – “maurauding colonizers who still think they’re still the big boss of the world.”

Shifting to his drive against corruption, he said fired several government workers, including some in his Cabinet, for being implicated in anomalous transaction. But he did not give any names.

Then he made a strong pledge to investors.

“We will honor contracts. We will honor our obligations,” he said. “That is in the Constitution itself –that there shall be no impairment of the obligation of contracts. So, in sof ar as trade is concerned, what is signed, and I agree with you, will be done. Even if we lose in the transaction, we will honor what we have promised.”

Towards the end of his speech, he noted that it was in the national interest of the Philippines to forge closer ties with Middle Eastern countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain because the people in these countries had been helping Filipino workers boost the Philippines’ gross national product through their remittances

He added that “the kind people in Qatar” had been partly responsbile for the education of Filipino children.

At this point, Duterte repeated the same pledge he made to the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain: That, if they should need it, his administration would wilingly give them military assistance in times of trouble because it would be in the interest of the Philippines to see their countries remain stable, considering that there were at least two million Filipino workers in the Middle East.

The president is scheduled to stay in Doha until Easter Sunday, when he flies back to Davao City, his hometown.

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Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/154906/duterte-offers-peace-rich-resources-no-corruption-to-qatari-investors#ixzz4eLDw9kNI
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Human Rights Group Karapatan Asks United Nations To Investigate Murders in the Philippines

/ 02:23 PM April 11, 2017

Human rights group Karapatan has submitted to the United Nations records of extrajudicial killings (EJK) under the Duterte administration.

The 47 EJK records have been submitted to United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial/Summary or Arbitrary Executions Agnes Callamard.

Karapatan urged Callamard to consider, investigate, make recommendations, and take any appropriate actions on the cases.

“The victims of killings are peasants, indigenous peoples and workers; many faced vilification by the military because of their advocacy and actions to defend people’s rights and are thus considered as human rights defenders,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general, in her letter to Callamard.

The 47 cases of killings under the Duterte administration were documented by Karapatan from July 2016 to March 31, 2017.

Karapatan was hoping that Callamard’s findings about the gravity of political killings in the Philippines may convince the present administration to completely discard their counterinsurgency programs.

Furthermore, Palabay stated that Karapatan is currently working with the campaign network Rise Up, a faith-based institution, to prepare and document similar cases of human rights violation.

The submitted records will also be included in the May 8, 2017 third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council. Geisha Sinahonon/rga

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Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/154680/karapatan-submits-records-of-killings-under-duterte-admin-to-un#ixzz4eLEkShVi
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Palace told: Address, don’t dismiss, report on killings
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/ 04:30 PM April 15, 2017
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After Malacañang questioned Karapatan’s move in reporting the alleged political killings under the Duterte administration to the United Nations (UN), the human rights group on Saturday said that the government should instead look into documented cases which it said were supported by facts and testimonies instead of dismissing the claims.

READ: Palace: Karapatan report on killings to UN ‘questionable’

“Instead of Malacañang’s blanket dismissal of allegations that its State security forces have killed peasants and indigenous peoples, it should look into these documented cases substantiated with facts and testimonies, even first-hand witness testimonies identifying the State perpetrators of the political killings,” Karapatan said in a statement.

“It should initiate prosecution to hold them accountable and rescind the counter-insurgency program that has terrorized peasant and indigenous communities,” it added.

Last Tuesday, Karapatan said that it submitted the case files of 47 victims of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines under the Duterte government’s anti-insurgency campaign to the office of UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard.

The human rights watchdog said that victims of the alleged extrajudicial killings carried out by state forces were peasants, indigenous peoples, Moro, workers, women, and youth.

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READ: Karapatan submits records of killings under Duterte to UN

The submitted records are to be included in the May 8, 2017 third cycle of the Universal Periodic Review on the Philippines at the UN Human Rights Council.

Karapatan said that the government should address the thousands of complaints lodged at the Joint Monitoring Committee on the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

“Our broken justice system and domestic institutions have failed the victims and their families,” the group said.

“While it true that international institutions should not interfere with domestic affairs, any State is duty-bound to uphold international human rights commitments and therefore is accountable to its peoples according to such commitments,” it added.

It also noted that only one conviction in a local court was attained in the 1,587 victims of political killings during the administrations of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III and the current Duterte regime. IDL

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Image may contain: 2 people

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) talks to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald Dela Rosa. AFP photo

Image may contain: 1 person

Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa

Philippines: Human Rights Watch director Phelim Kline also said the numbers of fatalities in the drug war launched by President Rodrigo Duterte when he assumed office on June 30, 2016, are “appalling but predictable” since he (Duterte) vowed to “forget the laws on human rights.”

Image may contain: text

No automatic alt text available.

Philippines Policeman found tortured and strangled after some fellow police said he was involved in the illegal drug trade. Photo Credit Boy Cruz

http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/07/08/1600763/cop-linked-drugs-tortured-killed

 (December 23, 2016)

Discarded — The body of a dead Filipino girl looks like it has been put out with the trash…..
.

 

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

 (Philippine Star, December 1, 2016)

“They are afraid the incident could cause President Duterte to declare martial law. I talked with some sultans and ulamas and elders here… and that’s what they have told me,” Ponyo said.

 (November 30, 2016)

 

Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo, Jean-Marc Ferré

Summary executions of supposed drug dealers and other criminals have become a common occurence in recent weeks. The STAR/Joven Cagande, file

 (November 16, 2016)

 

 (August 10, 2016)

Davao City’s Ronald dela Rosa has been appointed to become the next chief of the Philippine National Police to lead President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s planned crackdown on illegal drugs. Facebook/Dela Rosa
.

Crime scene investigators examine a vehicle used by two drug suspects killed during an alleged shootout with officers along NIA Road in Quezon City on June 21, 2016. JOVEN CAGANDE/file
.
.

President Rodrigo Duterte's crusade against drug users and dealers is controversial

 

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry's Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers burying cadavers in various stages of decomposition in a mass grave in Manila, after health officials recovered the cadavers from Henry’s Funeral Home. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.

A worker arranging cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila. Picture: AFP/ Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Health officials closed Henry's Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Health officials closed Henry’s Funeral Home after recovering at least 120 unclaimed and rotting cadavers in Manila. The city health department conducted a surprise raid after receiving complaints about a foul odour coming from the funeral parlour. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry's Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.

Workers carrying cadavers in various stages of decomposition at the morgue of Henry’s Funeral Homes in Manila, October 2016. Picture: AFP / Noel Celis.Source:AFP

Assad’s Syria has a chemical weapons stockpile of over two thousand tons; Says ‘We have never used our chemical arsenal in our history’

April 15, 2017

Syrian regime has ‘at least 2,000 tonnes’ of chemical weapons hidden away, says Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat

The Independent Online
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.basha-al-assad-0.jpg

Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad deceived United Nations inspectors and still has “hundreds of tonnes” of lethal chemicals stockpiled, the country’s former weapons research chief has said.

In 2014, Syria said it had handed over all of its chemical weapons to the UN’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). At the time, Barack Obama said the stockpile had been “100 per cent eliminated”.

But Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat has told The Telegraph that Assad’s regime did not declare large amounts of sarin and other toxic weapons.

“They [the regime] admitted only to 1,300 tonnes, but we knew in reality they had nearly double that,” said General Sakat, who had been one of the most senior figures in the country’s chemical weapons programme. “They had at least 2,000 tonnes. At least.”

General Sakat said he believes the remaining stockpile in Syria could include several hundred tonnes of sarin, along with other chemicals, aerial bombs that can be filled with chemicals, and also chemical warheads for Scud missiles.

A former commander of the British military’s chemical weapons unit, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, who now advises Syrian NGOs on chemical weapons, described General Sakat’s claims as plausible.

Assad’s government has been blamed for a suspected sarin gas attack in Idlib province last week in which killed almost 90 people.

The attack prompted a retaliatory attack by the US against a Syrian air base, which has sparked heightened tensions between Syria’s Russian backers and the US.

But Assad has said the allegation that his government was responsible for the attack was “100 per cent fabrication”, and this week said once again that his government was not in possession of any chemical weapons.

“We gave up our arsenal three years ago,” Assad said in an interview this week. “Even if we have them we wouldn’t use them. We have never used our chemical arsenal in our history.”

“The United States is hand in glove with the terrorists,” he added.

Turkish and British scientists have both said they have found positive results in tests for the nerve agent sarin, a toxin that rebel groups in Syria are not known to possess.

Kenneth Ward, the US ambassador to OPWC, has also insisted Syria was hiding stocks of chemical weapons “abetted by Russia’s continuing efforts to bury the truth”.

General Sakat said he doesn’t believe Assad will give up any remaining chemical weapons.

“He will not let go of the chemical weapons while he is leader of Syria.”

“If he is forced to leave, he might confess to where some of it is hidden only so it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/bashar-al-assad-chemical-weapons-attack-stockpile-syria-obama-trump-moscow-a7684706.html

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Kerry and Lavrov. John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov in 2013. They engineered a deal to remove all chemical weapons from Syria. They both played pivotal roles in the Iran nuclear deal.  AP photo

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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry react during a joint news conference after their meeting in Moscow, May 7, 2013.Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

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US Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, September 2013 (photo credit: AP/Keystone/Martial Trezzini)

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Secretary of State John Kerry, (r.), speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, (c.), in Geneva, Switzerland, in January, 2014. The pair were scheduled to meet in New York to participate in a conference at the United Nations on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. LAURENT GILLIERON/EPA