Palace vows 'life with higher dignity' for poor on Human Rights Day

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2017 01:50 PM

FILE PHOTO: A family living in a shanty neighborhood in Tondo, Manila. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Malacañang renewed its promise to uplift the lives of poor and marginalized Filipinos during the observance of the International Human Rights Day on Sunday. 

"The Duterte Administration works hard with the best interest of every Filipino, especially the poor and the marginalized and most vulnerable, as its main concern," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement. 

"The best way to do this is to ensure government efficiency and effectiveness that will translate to every Filipino getting a fighting chance to overcome poverty, to uplift one’s status in society and to live a life with higher dignity. That direction is what inspires the government’s compliance with its human rights obligations," he added.

The government, he said, puts priority in women and children in crises situations, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, older persons, people and communities displaced by natural and human-induced calamities. 

Roque added that the administration was pleased that the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the highest peer review body on all matters of human rights, "unanimously accepted and commended" the Philippines' universal periodic review (UPR) this year. 

The Philippines is an active member of the UNHRC and respect for human rights is enshrined in its Constitution, he noted. 

PROTEST VS GOV'T 

Militant groups, meanwhile, mounted a protest in Mendiola, Manila to condemn alleged rights abuses under the government's anti-narcotics drive. 

The activists lit candles beside the mock corpses and coffins of those slain in the campaign, and drenched a poster of President Rodrigo Duterte in red paint. 

Led by BAYAN Southern Tagalog, Gabriela, Karapatan and Pamantik-Kilusan Mayo Uno, the protesters are set to march towards Bonifacio Shrine before returning to Mendiola late Sunday. 

Some 3,800 people have been killed in the anti-drug campaign since Duterte took office last year, according to police data. The administration has many times defended the anti-narcotics campaign, saying it does not sanction summary executions nor condone summary killings. -- With Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News