MANILA — The Philippines has accepted 215 of the 289 recommendations made by UN member-states during the 52nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
The recommendations were the result of a fourth cycle of the Universal Period Review in November 2022.
"We accepted the comments and suggestions of all member-states of the United Nations Human Rights Council right then and there, the moment they were given. That's a first time in the history in respect to the Universal Period Review," Justice Undersecretary Raul Vasquez told ANC's "Rundown" on Wednesday.
The Philippine government first accepted 200 recommendations, which included the implementation of the UN joint program on human rights, moratorium on death penalty, congestion of prisons, and addressing allegations on extrajudicial killings.
An additional 15 recommendations were accepted, including those pertaining to the national action plan on the safety of journalists, national preventive mechanism, and a human rights approach on the strategy against illegal drugs.
Some 74 other recommendations were noted including the anti-illegal drug campaign, investment for reproductive health, and climate risk.
"The others, they were not accepted, they were deferred in view of questions in respect to our cultural differences with the member-states, the religious beliefs, national sovereignty, as well as the value system," Vasquez said.
The 215 recommendations accepted are higher compared to the 103 of the 257 suggestions approved during the previous Universal Periodic Review.
But a delegation of Filipino human rights defenders slammed the Philippines' response, describing it as superficial because the government supposedly left out key recommendations on ending extrajudicial killings, attacks on media freedom, reviewing the anti-terrorism law and creation of anti-communist insurgency task force.
The Philippine Universal Periodic Review Watch warned rights violations are likely to continue.