Duterte govt’s black propaganda junket in Europe, UN shows its desperation to bury injustices

“The Duterte goverment’s black propaganda junket in Europe and at the United Nations was a desperate move to deodorize its notorious human rights record and to evade accountability for its crimes and tyrannical acts. It has repeatedly rejected calls for independent investigations by human rights experts and has barely responded substantially to communications sent by UN offices regarding cases of rights violations. Through a national task force composed of militarists and mercenary hacks, it is promoting a most unbelievable lie - that government is correct and everyone else is wrong. What is however apparent is its ellaborative effort to hide the injustices apparent in the country,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.

She emphasized that several UN officials and international human rights organizations have cited the bleak human rights situation under Duterte. Several States have also voiced out concerns on rights violations through joint statements in during the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines. “Certainly, the NTF’s PR stunt in Europe on Filipino taxpayers’ dime is an empty, if not revolting, gesture,” she said. 

“Together with other human rights and civil society organizations, and even international human rights experts and UN officials, we have been repeatedly maligned in the government’s vicious terrorist-labelling campaign and have faced reprisals due to our work exposing State-perpetrated human rights violations and demanding for justice and accountability. We highly urge government to stop whining and acting like the government is the aggrieved party, and start addressing these issues. We remind the Duterte government that the State is the primary duty-bearer in the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights. We are certain you might have already forgotten,” she said.

The Karapatan leader stated that “efforts to falsely accuse groups and journalists raising these issues will not erase the atrocious crimes already committed and are continuously being committed by State security forces”.

“However, these forms of terrorist-labelling and redtagging have also resulted in the killings of human rights defenders, criminalization of their work and beliefs and illegal detention, torture and other violations of the people’s right to uphold and defend rights, to form organizations and to conduct human rights work,” she added. 

Karapatan criticized the “audacity of the Philippine government in shamelessly claiming efforts of civil society and human rights organizations, passing it off as their sincere effort to advance and protect human rights, while altogether dismissing the deteriorating rights situation and outrightly denying recognition of the victims.

“The testimony of the victims and their communities, as well as their steadfast commitment to fight for justice are enough basis to overcome the lies of this administration,” Palabay concluded.

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +639173162831 

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580