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Palace denies Duterte suspended loans with countries backing UN probe on PH drug war

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By Prince Golez

Malacañang clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte has not ordered the suspension of loans and negotiations with the countries who supported a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to investigate the human rights situation in the Philippines.

This, after Inquirer.net reported Friday that the Office of the President (OP) signed last August 27 a “confidential memorandum” cancelling “all new talks and deals for foreign loans and grants from the 18 countries.”

The order signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea would take effect immediately and would remain in effect unless and until lifted by the OP, the news website said.

“The President has not issued any memorandum suspending loans and negotiations involving 18 countries that voted in favor of the Iceland resolution,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters.

In July, UNHRC adopted the Iceland resolution for an international investigation into the spate of killings and human rights violations in the country.

A total of 18 countries voted to approve the resolution during the 41st session of UNHRC in Geneva. Fourteen opposed it and 15 countries abstained.

The 18 countries who voted to adopt the Iceland-led resolution were Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay.

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