UN rights probe meant to stop 'would-be tyrants' - rights group


Posted at Jul 16 2019 11:30 AM | Updated as of Jul 16 2019 12:02 PM

Watch more in iWantTFC

MANILA - A Manila-based rights group on Tuesday said a United Nations Human Rights Council probe on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines is meant to stop "would-be tyrants" who might use violence in their own countries.

Ellecer Carlos, spokesperson of iDefend or In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement, said the erosion of the human rights culture of the Philippines and the distortion of human rights principles and values have "made life...more dangerous for human rights defenders in the Philippines."

Rights groups have claimed that tens of thousands have died in the Philippine government's drug war. Police have said the figure is just at over 6,000 from the start of the Duterte administration in July 2016 until the end of May.

The government has repeatedly denied involvement in summary killings, saying drug suspects slain in police operations had resisted arrest.

Carlos urged the government to exert all means to prevent extrajudicial killings.

He said the United Nations Human Rights Council decision to adopt the resolution calling for a report on Manila’s human rights situation, including extrajudicial killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs, "is actually also meant not just to shed light into what is happening here in the Philippines."

"It's to stop the mini-Dutertes that are here, the mini mayors that are doing the very same thing, and the Duterte likenesses elsewhere in the world--Sri Lanka, Bangladesh--who have praised Duterte, who have praised the war on drugs here in the Philippines and that is put a stop to would be tyrants employing this violent approach for populist means," he said.

Carlos, meanwhile, welcomed Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jnr's statement that the Philippines will stay in the United Nations Human Rights Council despite the vote.

"This is a good development that they were able to rethink their slip-ups," Carlos said.

"But I find the statement very funny to teach Europeans and other countries manners. After the unbecoming statements, after the derogatory statements, after the behavior of the Philippine delegation led by Undersecretary [Severo] Catura...I find it very funny."

Carlos said the Philippine delegation, led by Undersecretary Catura, walked out during the informal session on June 25 to discuss the Iceland resolution on the Philippines at the 41st session of the UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Philippines has rejected the resolution approved by 18 countries. Fourteen voted against it while 15 abstained during the poll held in Geneva Thursday.