Groups slam gov’t for ‘actions to sabotage’ UN resolution on human rights probe
MANILA, Philippines — Human rights groups have condemned the Duterte administration for its alleged attempt to sabotage the adoption of a resolution that calls for a United Nations investigation into the human rights situation in the Philippines.
“We call out the Philippine government, especially President Rodrigo Duterte, his spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, among other officials, for their deliberately vile actions to sabotage the resolution,” Christina Palabay, secretary-general of Karapatan, said in a press conference at the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) in Quezon City on Friday.
Palabay said the government allegedly deployed diplomats in various states and in Geneva, where the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is located, to sabotage the resolution.
“We are witness to these actions. Up until yesterday, up until the last minute, they have been trying to sabotage this resolution both in the capitals of the various states, in Geneva, and in the Philippines. Nagsayang sila ng pera ng taumbayan at nagmobilisa ng kanilang diplomats para isabotahe ang resolution na ito (They wasted people’s money to mobilize diplomats to sabotage the resolution),” Palabay said.
In a phone interview with INQUIRER.net, Palabay clarified that government men were deployed in different member states to urge officials to “vote against” the adoption of the resolution.
Rubylin Lintao, Rise Up for Life and for Rights coordinator, said the government must not fear the UN probe if they are sure they did not commit human rights violations.
“We urge the Duterte administration to refrain from their usual intimidation tactics and bullying. If they are so sure that they are correct in their actions, they should not fear this investigation. We strongly appeal for sober reflection and principled engagement in the process,” Lintao said.
The human rights groups were reacting to the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo that the government is rejecting the resolution as it was “based on false information and unverified facts.”
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. also warned that “consequences will be far-reaching” for members states who approved the resolution of international scrutiny on the alleged human rights violations in the Philippines.
Eighteen out of 47 member states voted in favor of the resolution filed by Iceland that urges the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) to deepen its probe into the human rights situation in the country, including the Duterte administration’s war on drugs. /ee
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