Palace ‘can’t implement’ UN reco, says rights report ‘faulty’ | Inquirer News

Palace ‘can’t implement’ UN reco, says rights report ‘faulty’

/ 05:26 AM June 07, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang said on Saturday that the United Nations human rights office had come to “faulty conclusions” about the situation in the Philippines, which was why the government “cannot commit to the full implementation” of its recommendations for the country.

The United Nations on Wednesday released a report on the human rights situation in the Philippines that cited the “near impunity” of police and other top officials in the administration’s war against illegal drugs.

“The Philippine Government notes the recommendations made by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), but cannot commit to their full implementation given the faulty conclusions on which they were premised, among them the alleged violations of the right to life, the supposedly arbitrary deprivation of liberty of those involved in drug cases, the alleged violations of the right to health, and the implication that Filipino civic space is being destroyed by the focus given to public order and national security. We firmly reject these conclusions,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

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But the administration will respect its international legal obligations, including those that concern human rights, he added.

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According to Roque, the government follows the rule of law and respects the autonomy of the courts, and that erring law enforcers and state forces are dealt with properly.

There is no truth to the UN agency’s claims that the Philippine government is stifling dissent, he added.

“The OHCHR’s conclusions regarding the supposed crackdown on critical advocates is belied by its own findings that the ‘Philippines has a long-standing, robust tradition of human rights advocacy and civil society activism, with 60,000 registered nongovernmental organizations,’” Roque said.

The UN agency has been calling out the abuses and killings that, it said, have defined the Duterte administration’s campaign against drugs. The criticisms have not sat well with President Duterte who had threatened to withdraw from the UN human rights council.

The Commission on Human Rights meanwhile expressed concern over the arrest early this week of six jeepney drivers in Caloocan, who were charged with violating quarantine rules when they protested the ongoing ban on jeepney operations even under general community quarantine guidelines.

—With a report from Patricia Denise M. Chiu

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TAGS: Harry Roque, OHCHR, Rodrigo Duterte

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