Palace: Guevarra report to UNHRC doesn’t prove gov’t violated human rights
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s statement before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on irregularities in the government’s drug war operations does not prove that human-rights violations were committed, Malacañang said Thursday.
It is only proof that the government is doing its duty to investigate and prosecute alleged human-rights violations, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
“Well, I will talk as a former professor of law, let me correct you, it does not prove anything, because what is accepted as proof of the commission of a crime is generally the decision of a court,” he said when asked if Guevarra’s statement proved that there’s truth to the accusations and complaints of the victims as well as human-rights advocates.
“What it does prove is that we are in the discharge of our state obligation to investigate and prosecute violation on the right to life. Napapatunayan po iyan na ginagampanan po natin iyong katungkulan natin sang-ayon sa batas sa international na imbestigahan at litisin ang mga lumalabag sa karapatang mabuhay,” Roque added.
(It proves that we are doing our duty in accordance with the law, international law, to investigate and prosecute those who violated human rights.)
He added that Guevarra’s statement also shows that the country’s legal system is working and that other institutions should not meddle as to how the Philippine justice system works.
“That proves that our domestic legal system is working at hindi po dapat manghimasok ang ibang mga institusyon [and other institutions should not meddle],” Roque added.
“Bigyan po natin ng pagkakataon ang ating legal system na gumana ngayong mayroon na pong ganiyang transparency at open mindedness ‘no sa parte po ng no less than our secretary of justice,” he further said.
(We should give our legal system a chance to work especially now that there is transparency and open-mindedness on the part of the justice secretary.)
Guevarra earlier told UNHRC that more than half of thousands of anti-drug operations launched by police under the Duterte administration failed to comply with rules of engagement and protocol.
He added that state agents had “asserted” that the drug suspects had been killed after they “resisted arrest or attempted to draw a weapon and fight back”.
“Yet, no full examination of the weapon recovered was conducted. No verification of its ownership was undertaken. No request for ballistic examination or paraffin test was pursued until its completion,” Guevarra said.
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