“Philippine government officials, whose cacophony of excuses for non-cooperation on the UN Human Rights Council resolution has pervaded recent news, are like wolves baying for more blood. Instead of welcoming an independent and modest action, they have strewn all possible alibis against the gathering of information on the facts regarding the human rights situation in the country and have justified the policies that enable further attacks on people’s rights. These responses prove that the Duterte administration has much to hide and that an independent international probe is much needed,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
Since Thursday, July 11, 2019, several government officials including Pres. Duterte, Foreign Affairs Sec. Teodoro Locsin, the Philippine National Police and administration-backed senators have responded negatively to the Iceland-led resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council.
“Among others, the resolution merely mandates the Office of the High Commissioner to prepare and present a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines. If indeed the government has all the facts to prove the rosy situation in the country, then it should present and submit these reports and be open to country visits of independent probers,” Palabay commented.
Karapatan pointed out that “like the Philippine government’s distortion of human rights principles and concepts, the sovereignty issue has been much abused to evade accountability for human rights obligations and to justify rights violations by those who have long peddled the country’s sovereignty to the US and China.”
“It is shameful that these government officials have the audacity to spout lies on the rights situation in the country when they are the direct endorsers and implementers of human rights violations throughout the years. They even had the temerity to invoke women’s rights issues such as abortion, when they do not even have an inkling on the situation of poor women in the Philippines or the rights enshrined in other human rights treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Their recent reactions were a disgrace. It also provides us a preview on the dangerous legislative agenda and policy interests pursued by these Duterte minions in the Senate,” Palabay said, reacting to statements of Senate Pres. Vicente Sotto and senators Imee Marcos, Panfilo Lacson and Ronaldo dela Rosa, among others.
Karapatan called on all victims of human rights violations to participate in the UN HRC process by submitting reports and supporting documentation and by providing testimonies. “Ultimately, the Filipino people’s pursuit of justice through domestic and international platforms will see through the indictment of this administration for its crimes,” Palabay concluded.
Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +639173162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +639189790580