Retired Roman Catholic Bishop Nicanor Yniguez (left) joins families of victims of alleged extra-judicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's "war on drugs.

" Bullit Marquez/AP hide caption

toggle caption Bullit Marquez/AP

Retired Roman Catholic Bishop Nicanor Yniguez (left) joins families of victims of alleged extra-judicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's "war on drugs."

Bullit Marquez/AP

The United Nations Human Rights Council says it will investigate alleged crimes committed during the Philippine government's war on drugs, and passed a resolution mandating a detailed written report on allegations of extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances and arbitrary arrests.

The resolution, led by Iceland, secured the narrow backing of 18 states in the 47-member council, with 14 nations opposing it, and 15 countries abstaining.

The measure's passage earned the condemnation of the Philippine government. The New York Times reports the Philippine foreign minister, Teodoro Locsin, denounced the resolution as a travesty of human rights that came "straight from the mouth of the queen in Alice in Wonderland."

DW reports that after the vote, the Philippine ambassador to the U.N., Evan Garcia, said the Duterte administration is committed to upholding justice. "We will not tolerate any form of disrespect or acts of bad faith. There will be consequences," Garcia said.

The resolution requires the U.N. human rights chief to report on the situation in a year. The Philippine government has acknowledged at least 6,600 people have died in its antidrug campaign since 2016. Human rights activists say that figure is much higher.

Earlier this year NPR's Julie McCarthy reported:

"Duterte's anti-drug operations killed 5,281 people from the time they began in July 2016 through February 2019, according to Derrick Carreon, spokesman for the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. Human Rights Watch says that figure does not include nearly 23,000 others who police say were killed by unidentified gunmen or vigilantes, widely considered extrajudicial killings. Duterte denies involvement in summary executions and taunts human rights defenders with vows to widen the war on illegal drugs, which he says are making the country 'insane.'"

A young girl was shot last week in the Philippines, becoming one of the drug war's youngest victims. Newsweek reports, "A three-year-old girl called Myka Upina died on Sunday in crossfire during a drugs raid by armed police on Sunday in Rodriguez, Rizal, ABS-CBN reported. Ulpina's father Renato also died in the shootout. Police reportedly accused him of using the girl as a shield, which her mother denied."

In a statement Amnesty International's Nicholas Bequelin said the U.N. resolution "provides hope for thousands of bereaved families in the Philippines, and countless more Filipinos bravely challenging the Duterte administration's murderous 'war on drugs'. It's a crucial step towards justice and accountability."

"We urge the Philippines to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Office leading the investigation and take urgent measures to halt the brutal killings that have become the hallmark of the Duterte administration's campaign. If they do not, the Council may take further and more robust action. From here on, pressure on the architects of the government's murderous policies will only grow stronger," the statement continues.

Laila Matar, deputy Geneva director of Human Rights Watch, called the resolution a "modest but vital measure." Matar said, "It signals the start of accountability for thousands of 'drug war'-related killings and other abuses, and will provide hope to countless survivors and families of victims."

World News

NorCal News

  • PastedGraphic 1
    July 19, 2019

    Food for Thought to Close Forestville Store but Retain Focus

    A Sonoma County group that supplies food and services to those experiencing homelessness or suffering from severe illnesses has announced the closing of its gift shop in Sebastopol. Founded in 1988 as a response to the AIDS epidemic, nonprofit Food for Thought announced Wednesday that its shop will…
  • Library photo for website
    July 18, 2019

    Sonoma County Library Eliminates Overdue Fines

    Paying your library fines might not seem like a big deal. It usually adds up to spare change. But earlier this month, the Sonoma County Library decided to remove that burden from its patrons in the name of fairness. Rushing quietly into the Sonoma County Library, a mother heaves a bag filled with…
  • Brownie Mary
    July 18, 2019

    Museum of Sonoma County Opens Exhibition on History of Cannabis

    The Museum of Sonoma County opened a new exhibition in June. It’s called Grass Roots: Cannabis from Prohibition to Prescription. KRCB’s Adia White talked with Eric Stanley, the museum’s curator of history, about why the story of cannabis is important to share now. (Image: Mary Jane Rathbun,…
  • fie HOPE counsel wheelwright
    July 15, 2019

    California HOPE Crisis Counseling Ends

    The California HOPE crisis counseling program ended on June 30th. The program was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help survivors cope with trauma after the October wildfires. KRCB’s Adia White spoke with California HOPE project manager Wendy Wheelwright about the work…
  • Kaiser Permanente Building After Northridge Earthquake
    Jul 09, 2019

    Host of KPCC's The Big One Podcast Shares Earthquake Tips

    Southern California was hit by two large earthquakes last week. One was a magnitude 7.1; the largest recorded in the state in twenty years. It’s a…
  • Hairspray at BAM 2019 26
    Jul 09, 2019

    'Hairspray': The Perfect Musical for this Moment

    It’s a time capsule of a time capsule, looking back to the 1988 John Waters film, the 2002 Tony-winning Broadway musical and the 2007 film starring…
  • 1790Presidiowithcaption
    Jul 03, 2019

    California on Independence Day in 1776

    This Fourth of July, we take a look at what California was like on Independence Day in 1776. From our partners at North State Public Radio, we’re…
  • exiled cover
    Jul 03, 2019

    Book Tells Stories of Refugees Exiled 'Home' to Cambodia

    Exiled is author Katya Cengel’s recent book about Cambodian refugees in California. In the light of current refugee policies, it’s instructive to…
  • Supervisor David Rabbitt at his desk
    Jul 03, 2019

    Sonoma County Struggles With Property Tax Loss from 2017 Fires

    Mid-June, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors adopted a 1.78-billion-dollar budget for the next fiscal year. The new budget resulted in 14 million…
  • Donner Lofts
    Jul 02, 2019

    State Bill to Boost Housing Density Stalls in the Legislature

    This spring, there was strong support in the state legislature for senate bill 50. SB 50 would have rewritten zoning laws to allow for more housing…
  • IMG 1048
    Jun 29, 2019

    Teenage Vaping on the Rise in Sonoma County

    In 2018 the U.S. surgeon general declared teenage vaping a national epidemic. Local publisher Sonoma West published an investigation into the growing…
  • UnitedInKindness
    Jun 28, 2019

    Sonoma County Interfaith Council Denounces Hate

    Hate crimes are on the rise across the nation and here in the North Bay. In response, The Interfaith Council of Sonoma County started a campaign to…
  • IMG 1282
    Jun 27, 2019

    Experts Showcase Fire Resistant Building Materials

    As we head into summer, homeowners are looking for ways to protect their properties from wildfire. KRCB's Adia White attended an event at the Santa…

Northern California
Public Media Newsletter

Get the latest updates on programs and events.