PH gov't to UN: Stop weaponizing, politicizing human rights

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 16 2020 03:04 AM

A policeman outside Manila's city hall, Philippines, Thursday, May 28, 2020, as the capital observes community quarantine to avoid the spread of the new coronavirus. Rights advocates said cases of human abuse rose during the lockdown. Aaron Favila, AP Photo/File

MANILA - The Philippines called for an end to the "weaponization and politically motivated use of human rights," amid continuous calls of activists and experts to investigate the current administration's alleged abuses.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Thursday that Ambassador Enrique Manalo, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, called for multilateral cooperation and genuine dialogue for promotion and protection of human rights during the Third Committee of the General Assembly in its opening session on Oct. 5.

“We seek to ensure a safe and secure environment where human rights and fundamental freedoms are enjoyed by every Filipino, free from crime and the evil of illegal drugs,” Manalo told other delegates in the UN.

The United Nations Human Rights Council earlier adopted a resolution that would provide technical cooperation and capacity-building for promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines, which rights groups say falls short of launching an independent international probe into the human rights situation in the country.

The resolution, co-sponsored by the Philippines and other countries, requested the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights to provide technical assistance and capacity-building for “domestic investigative and accountability measures, data gathering on alleged police violations, civic space and engagement with civil society and the Commission on Human Rights, national mechanism for reporting and follow-up, counter-terrorism legislation and human rights-based approaches to drug control.”

Rights groups who had been lobbying for an impartial, independent international probe since President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war began, said the resolution does not provide meaningful actions. Amnesty International called the resolution a “missed chance” for seeking justice.

The Duterte government has repeatedly said it upheld human rights, despite concerns raised by several groups both in the country and abroad over alleged abuses.