Marcos creates special committee for human rights protection in PH

Marcos creates special committee for human rights protection in PH

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 06:02 PM May 12, 2024

Marcos creates special committee for human rights protection in PH

FILE PHOTO: President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. | Photo from the Official Facebook page of Bongbong Marcos

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has formed a special committee that will mandate key government agencies to boost and promote universal human rights protection.

In a statement on Sunday, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said that Marcos ordered the creation of the Special Committee on Human Rights Coordination, which will impose Administrative Order (AO) No. 22, signed by Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin on May 8.

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According to PCO, the AO “aims to enhance the mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines,” as well as “maintaining and intensifying the accomplishments of the United Nations for the Joint Program on Human Rights.”

The special committee will be headed by the executive secretary and co-chaired by the secretary of the Department of Justice, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Interior and Local Government secretaries as members.

“It is imperative to sustain and enhance the accomplishments under the UNJP, which is set to expire on July 31, 2024, through the institutionalization of a robust multi-stakeholder process for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines,” Marcos stated in the AO.

The Philippines is a State Party to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

PCO said this prompted the formation of the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) to comply with its obligations to international human rights groups and to formulate a National Human Rights Action Plan.

Moreover, the PCO disclosed that PHRC Secretariat will serve as the Secretariat of the special committee, required “to provide the necessary technical, administrative, and operational support to the committee in-charge of sustaining initiatives and accomplishments of the UNJP in the areas of law enforcement, criminal justice, and policy-making.”

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Among the duties and functions of the body are:

  • The conduct of investigation and accountability
  • Data-gathering on alleged human rights violations by law enforcement agencies
  • Expanding civic space and engagement with the private sector
  • National Mechanisms for implementation, reporting, and follow-up
  • And human rights-based approach towards drug control, as well as implementing a human rights-based approach towards counter-terrorism

The Special Committee is also tasked to monitor and ensure the effective implementation of government policies and programs aimed at upholding and protecting the human rights of persons deprived of liberty, particularly in guaranteeing that no one is subjected to torture and other cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or punishment,” the PCO added.

In line with this, the national government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, local government units, and the private sector, are directed to back and assist the order’s implementation.

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According to PCO, the AO will take effect immediately upon publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Human rights

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