CHR urges gov’t to acknowledge UNHRC report, address observation
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Friday called on the Philippine government to acknowledge the report of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) on the human rights situation in the country, and to address its observations with “definitive steps.”
In a statement, the commission said that it also welcomed the report of the UNHRC, where it found that there were “serious” human rights violations in the country was from the government’s “heavy-handed approach” against national security threats and illegal drugs, and that there was “near impunity” the government’s handling of the drug war.
Among the UNHRC’s recommendations in the report is to discontinue the controversial “Oplan Tokhang,” and has pressed the government to put an end to extrajudicial killings and other violence against suspected drug offenders.
The full report is set to be presented in the 44th UNHRC regular session in Geneva, Switzerland to be held this month.
“As the country’s national human rights institution, we call on the government to acknowledge and address its observations with definitive steps necessary to establish transparency and accountability, especially for the number of human rights violations noted,” the CHR said.
It added that it has “consistently reminded” the government to address the grave concerns over the deaths linked to the drug war.
“We continue to condemn the harmful and invidious language of high-level officials that have encouraged hatred and incentivized violence,” the CHR added. “We have pointed out the over-reliance on strong-arm governance, which has led to many human rights violations, denials of due process, and deviations from the rule of law.”
It also asked the government to respect the CHR’s mandate on protecting human rights, and urged cooperation on independent investigations, and protection of human rights defenders to “collectively work” on the human rights cause.
And while the CHR awaits the government’s response, it also asked the government to “to safeguard the rights of human rights defenders on the ground and enable them to express their opinions as they advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights of all persons, especially the disadvantaged, marginalized and vulnerable.”
“We will be closely monitoring possible reprisals stemming from this report as we heed the High Commissioner’s recommendations to improve the human rights situation of the country,” the CHR said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.