PH accepts human rights recommendations

November 18, 2022 Cristina Lee-Pisco 292 views

THE Philippines accepted 200 human rights recommendations from various countries at the adoption by the Human Rights Council Working Group of the report on the 4th Cycle Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla, during the UN human rights review held on November 16, 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland supported recommendations regarding the UN Joint Program, the Philippine Commission on Human Rights, a National Human Rights Action Plan, combating discrimination and gender-based violence, maintaining a moratorium on the death penalty, preventing extra-judicial killings, conducting independent investigations, decongesting prisons, further expanding access to justice, protecting human rights defenders and journalists, promoting the rights to education, health, and adequate standard of living, as well as upholding the rights of persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, women, children, refugees, and stateless persons.

“These are important areas and issues in which the Government is already working, and in many cases, even going beyond the accepted recommendations. They fall within the scope of and bolster the Philippine Government’s ongoing human rights policies, programs, and initiatives,” Remulla explained.

Remulla vowed that domestic accountability mechanisms will be strengthened noting that “accountability is the sine qua non of a just and humane society where the Rule of Law reigns. Extrajudicial killing is not state policy…The abuse of power and use of force beyond the bounds of law will not be tolerated.”

The Secretary also addressed three key issues raised by a number of delegations during the review.

On the safety of human rights defenders and journalists, Remulla stated in no uncertain terms that “there is no state policy to attack, harass or intimidate human rights defenders, including environmental rights defenders, lawyers and other practitioners of the legal profession, and the media.”

He further said that claims of a shrinking civic and media space are unfounded.

“My country has the unfortunate distinction of dealing with the longest-running armed communist insurgency in the world, whose adherents deliberately blur the lines between civic activism and armed violence. They use human rights as a tool to advance their violent agenda, claiming red-tagging and reprisal when the State exercises its duty to protect the human rights to life, liberty, security of persons, and property; and to preserve national security and safeguard the democratic order”, he added.

With respect to climate change, he urged partners not to lose sight of the bigger issue which is “that all countries must faithfully and urgently fulfill their international obligations on climate action.

The Philippines reiterates its call for climate justice for developed countries to increase financing for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage for developing countries. We expect nothing less from our friends and partners that have been the beacon of human rights and justice the world over.”