MANILA, Philippines — Only 12 percent of the 257 recommendations made by the United Nations (UN) in its 2017 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) were fully implemented by the administration of former president Rodrigo Duterte.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) revealed this Thursday as it bared its own recommendations to the current administration since the Philippines is up for another UN rights review by the last quarter of this year.
“Out of the 257 recommendations given to the Philippines, there [have] been varying levels in terms of compliance or implementation. We do note that 12 percent of the 257 recommendations have been fully implemented, (another) 12 percent were partially implemented with some progress, and 21 percent were technically implemented, while two percent were not implemented,” CHR Executive Director Jacqueline de Guia told reporters in a press conference.
“And then 53 percent were not supported in the last four years,” she added.
The CHR official explained that “fully implemented” means there were legislations passed supporting the recommendations and that the laws have either taken effect or are being enforced while “technically implemented” means that bills were filed and enacted but such measures have not yet resulted in significant changes to the areas of recommendations.
“We have to remember that the state has the obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill; in terms of fulfillment, it has to come up with concrete laws or legislation. In terms of protecting, it has to come up with concrete actions or policies on the ground to make sure that it adheres to human rights principles. And in terms of respecting it has to refrain from certain actions,” de Guia said.
“So in terms of those fully implemented, they have actually come up with laws, have actually respected and protected those human rights pertaining to the specific recommendations. For those 12 percent partially implemented there may have been some policies but there still remains to be some improvements that can be attributed in terms of implementation,” she added.
As for the 21 percent that were technically implemented, she noted that it reflects the high number of laws passed and enacted that are in support of human rights although these have not resulted in the improvement of the issues raised in the last UN UPR on the Philippines’ human rights obligations.
“For example, the Philippine government has been good in that sense, we have been passing a lot of human rights-based laws during the recent years but in terms of implementation, that is where improvement is noted and we encourage the government of course to make sure that there’s continuing adherence to those laws,” de Guia said.
“And for the 53 percent probably these are those recommendations where we did not see concrete or tangible, either laws, policies, or actions on the ground. And we do note of course that of these 257 recommendations, some may have been rejected by the government or noted by the government and therefore would not necessitate an action from them,” she continued.
De Guia did not enumerate the 2017 UN-UPR recommendations, but she did confirm that one of them was centered on the controversial “drug war” of the Duterte administration.
CHR is currently talking to several civil society organizations for the preparation of its own report for the UN UPR which observers utilize to countercheck the report from the government.
The UPR is a mechanism that allows UN to check on the human rights situation in its member-states. The review is done periodically – every five years – with observers evaluating a country’s human rights situation in the last five years.