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Philippines: Drugs

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN 270757, tabled on 28 June 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Philippines Government's policies to tackle the use and trafficking of illegal drugs, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Philippines Government on promoting and protecting human rights.

Answered on

4 July 2019

We remain concerned about the high death toll associated with the "war on drugs" in the Philippines. We have urged the Philippines Government to act to put an end to these killings, to ensure prompt investigations and hold perpetrators to account. We continue to encourage them to find alternative methods for reducing the harm caused by illegal drugs.

We agree that UN human rights mechanisms have a role to play in addressing these concerns, and regularly use our interventions at the UN Human Rights Council to press the Philippines authorities to investigate instances of abuse.

The Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Mark Field MP, raised our concerns about human rights and the "war on drugs" with Philippines Ministers, including the then Minister for Foreign Affairs Alan Peter Cayetano, during his visit to Manila in August 2018. More recently, the Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to the Philippines raised our concerns with Cabinet Secretaries in February. These messages were also passed to Philippines Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Enrique Manalo during the UK-Philippines High Level Talks in Manila in November 2018.