Gov't must look at US human rights report as constructive criticism: CHR

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 22 2018 02:35 PM

MANILA - A US State Department report citing concerns over "police killings" in the Philippines should be taken as constructive criticism, the Commission on Human Rights said Sunday.

Speaking to ANC, lawyer Jacqueline de Guia, CHR spokesperson, said the agency hopes the government will see the US report as an opportunity to show the world that our criminal justice system works.

"There is a golden opportunity for the Philippine government to show that indeed our criminal justice system is working. It is important that we show our investigations are moving towards accountability," she said.

"It is important that charges are being filed regardless of whom have committed all these alleged human rights violations. And for the court, to show that indeed people will be held to account and due process is observed," she added.

The US State Department's "Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017" said "killings by security forces" were among the "most significant" human rights issues in the Philippines.

"The government investigated a limited number of reported human rights abuses, including abuses by its own forces, paramilitaries, and insurgent and terrorist groups," the annual report added.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano maintained that the anti-narcotics campaign is "guided by the rule of law embodied in our Constitution" which upholds human rights.

"As a sovereign nation, the Philippines deserves the same kind of respect we have been extending to our friends in the international community," he said.

The European Parliament also adopted a resolution last Thursday which "condemns all extrajudicial killings and violence" in the Philippines—a report that Cayetano also slammed.

CHR's De Guia said the government shouldn't be surprised with the concerns voiced by other countries because human rights is an international concern.