Dear Friends,

We would like to share with you some statements on the UN Human Rights Council’s adoption of the resolution on the Government of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte:

1. International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, 12 July 2019
2. Karapatan, UNHRC adoption of reso in PH, a sign of defiance vs PH govts fake news, disinformation and threats, 12 July 2019

Please feel free to forward to your networks. Thank you.

In solidarity,

Global Secretariat

Philippine Government Should Abide by the UNHRC Resolution

Statement

12 July 2019

The International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, a global coalition of organizations campaigning for human rights and Filipino people’s rights, lauds the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution seeking investigation into the human rights situation in the Philippines. We thank all governments who voted in favour of the Iceland-sponsored resolution. We warmly commend all rights advocates who have lobbied with governments to support this resolution.

At the same time, we strongly criticise the Philippine government for “rejecting” the said resolution claiming that “it was not universally adopted”. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines cannot simply reject the UNHRC resolution. The Philippines is a founding member of the Council and signatory to all the relevant United Nations Conventions on which the UNHRC bases its work.

That is why President Rodrigo Duterte should abide by the resolution and welcome the visit of UN Special Rapporteurs which will inform the subsequent reform of the High Commissioner Ms. Michelle Bachelet. The government should respect and abide by internationally recognized bodies and mechanisms.

The resolution filed by Iceland was adopted at the UNHRC 41st regular session in Geneva, Switzerland on July 11, 2019.

The resolution “urges the government of the Philippines to take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to carry out impartial investigations and to hold perpetrators accountable in accordance with international norms and standards including those on due process and the rule of law.”

It also urges the Philippine government to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner and the mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, including by facilitating country visits and preventing and refraining from all acts of intimidation or retaliation.

In 2018, UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ annual report to the UNHRC placed the Philippines on the list of states that intimidate and retaliate against human rights defenders.

We call on all member organizations and supporters of ICHRP to condemn the Philippine government’s rejection of the UNHRC resolution and to intensify pressure on it to cooperate fully with the resolution. ICHRP will re-double its calls to end human rights violations and impunity in the Philippines. We vow to initiate any and all actions and venues, including diplomatic initiatives, to see that the Philippine government abides by the UNHRC resolution.

Reference:
Peter Murphy
Chairperson, Global Council
International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines
peter_murphy1_au@bigpond.com

Press Release

July 12, 2019

Reference: Cristina Palabay*, Secretary General, +639173162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, +639189790580

UN HRC ADOPTION OF RESO ON PH, A SIGN OF DEFIANCE VS PH GOVT’S FAKE NEWS, DISINFORMATION AND THREATS

Karapatan, alongside people’s organizations, members of civil society, and human rights victims and their families, lauds and thanks the 18 States that defied the fake news, disinformation, and threats as they voted for the adoption of the Iceland-led resolution on the Philippines. Maraming salamat po.

Karapatan calls out the Philippine Government, particularly Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, his spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, among other officials, for their deliberately vile actions to sabotage the resolution. They have squandered millions of taxpayer funds and mobilized diplomats to campaign against the Filipino people’s clamor for justice. But on July 11, 2019, 18 members of the UN HRC, with the support of 23 other States, saw through the lies of the Duterte government.

Locsin and Panelo took potshots at the “minimal” support for the resolution at the UN HRC and have once again used their forked tongues in invoking the “sovereignty” card. These are shameless diatribes that aim to downplay the political significance of the adopted resolution. These are paltry excuses deliberately meant to gloss over the fact that the Philippine government has ratified twelve out of thirteen international human rights treaties and that is a signatory to numerous international human rights instruments that it is obliged to respect, uphold and implement.

The Philippine government is not a champion of human rights, contrary to its self-serving claims. It is not remaining true to the cause of human rights nor is it rescuing human rights from its misuse. Instead, these desperate and repetitive lines for defending these murderous policies are indicative that the Philippine government is stripped bare and anxious to be scrutinized in accordance with the binding human rights treaties and instruments that it has signed. Many have been killed in line with the war on drugs and the government’s counterinsurgency campaign; their families, children, relatives, multiplied hundred times over, will continue echoing the call for justice and accountability.

After the ICC acceptance of complaints against Duterte, this UN HRC process is among the significant intergovernmental mechanisms in play. The junkets did not work, the bullying did not work, the reprisals did not work. If the Philippine government shuns this process, then it should stop its hypocrisy and resign from the UN Human Rights Council.

This will not necessarily end the policies and campaigns that have wreaked havoc in the lives of Filipino communities and families, but the aggregate effect of all parallel efforts to exact accountability – both domestically and internationally – should hopefully bring about the change in policy and leadership that truly prioritizes human rights. The struggle for justice and accountability, amid the worsening human rights situation in the country, progresses. So much is yet to be done, but the stage is set.

*Palabay headed the Philippine UPR Watch Delegation and was the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) Representative during the 41st UN HRC session in Geneva, Switzerland

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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.