Palace rejects special treatment rap for Russian drug suspects

Saturday, November 25th, 2017. Filed under: Asian News News Philippine News

MANILA, Nov 16 (Mabuhay) — President Rodrigo Duterte reassured Russia on his government’s treatment of 2 Russian drug suspects to strengthen ties with newfound ally, Moscow, MalacaƱang said Thursday.

“Kapangyarihan ng Presidente na maging chief architect ng foreign policy. Iyan po ay legal at walang basehan ang pula na special treatment ito,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Ito po ay isang binitawang salita upang mapalapit po ang ating relasyon sa bansang Russia,” he added.

The Commission on Human Rights had cautioned MalacaƱang against giving “special treatment” to the Russian suspects Yuri Kirdyushkin and Anastasia Novopashina who were caught with cocaine in separate incidents at Manila airport last year.

Duterte discussed their plight in a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev late Monday on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.

“I would just like to say that we have a working functional justice system here and they will get a fair trial and that they will be detained in a comfortable house,” Duterte told Medvedev, according to an official transcript.

“Whether (the allegations are) true or not, we will find out but I will see to it that they are treated fairly and no additional stress on their person that will happen.

Roque said the CHR should be fair, citing the case of Senator Leila de Lima, who is detained in a police camp.

“Dapat maging patas din ang CHR. Kung sasabihin nilang dapat sa ordinaryong jail habang dinidinig ang kasong drug trafficking, that’s equally applicable to someone like Leila de Lima,” he said.

De Lima is accused of receiving million in drug payoffs from convicted crime lords, which she denied.

Duterte on Monday thanked Russia for supplying guns and other weapons that he said helped defeat extremists in Marawi, as ties between Manila and Moscow continued to improve.(MNS)

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