In its second report on the crackdown since 2016, Amnesty said the campaign targets, mostly poor people, are largely drawn from "drug watch lists" supplied by local officials who are "under enormous pressure" from police to provide a steady stream of suspects.
The names of those targets are supplied by local officials who are "under huge pressure" from police to provide a steady stream of suspects, it said. "At the same time, they are insulting our sovereignty", he said. After interviewing 58 people, including witnesses, relatives and officials, the human rights group concluded that numerous deaths appeared to be extrajudicial killings.
The London-based rights watchdog says in a study released Monday that extrajudicial killings in President Rodrigo Duterte's 3-year-old campaign remain rampant and the scale of abuses has reached "the threshold of crimes against humanity".
He was referring to a draft resolution, proposed by Iceland and backed mainly by Western nations, which calls for a probe into the drug war and that is expected to go up for a vote before the council sessions ends on Friday.
Amnesty said Bulacan province north of the capital has become "the country's bloodiest killing field" after some officers involved in the crackdown were transferred there from Manila, which used to be the "epicenter of killings".
The Philippines government had prepared so-called "drug watch lists" compiled by authorities outside legal procedures, it added.
The human rights group also noted the increase in the number of deaths in Bulacan after PCol.
"It is incorrigible on their part to make that call". It keeps on calling for an investigation ever since, but the fact remains that the basis for their call is factually wrong.
Panelo challenged the worldwide organization for its report, pointing out that the government would rather engage with local rights group than AI as it tried to "politicize" the killings. So there is bias, there is prejudice.
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"As we have repeatedly said, these are the result of legitimate police operations".
The drug war is Duterte's signature initiative and is heavily supported by many Filipinos, however the nightly slaying of suspects by police and masked gunmen has provoked global condemnation. "They killed him like an animal", said one relative. It also urged the Office of the Ombudsman and the Justice department to investigate violations of the law being committed by the police in the war on drugs.
Gen. Oscar Albayalde, the PNP chief, gave assurance that while the campaign against narcotics had been relentless, it stayed "within the bounds of the law".
In response to its findings, the rights group is calling for the U.N.to open an investigation into the killings.
In 2017, President Duterte's allies in the House of Representatives defunded the commission for criticizing the war on drugs, but relented after the President intervened and the Senate made clear it would restore the agency's budget.
According to official statistics, at least 6,600 drug suspects have been killed in police drug operations from July 1, 2016 to May 31 this year. But nongovernment groups claim a much higher death toll, including many suspects killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen human rights groups suspect were financed by police officers.
Panelo, however, maintained the government's claim that the suspects resisted arrest and that the policemen just defended themselves.
Panelo last week described the call for a United Nations investigation as interference by foreign governments "misled by false news and untruthful narratives".
Slain suspects who struggled to earn a living were accused of being "big-time" drug dealers, Amnesty said, citing interviews with families of suspects. "We must respond to these cases".