Karapatan on PH gov't signing joint rights program with UN and repeated refusal to cooperate with the ICC

Expectedly, the Philippine government’s inking of the joint human rights program with the United Nations is now being spun as “sincere efforts” on human rights. It is clearly being used as window dressing to shamelessly evade accountability on human rights violations committed under this administration, considering the fact that the International Criminal Criminal (ICC) Prosecutor has already requested an investigation on alleged crimes against humanity by President Rodrigo Duterte and his ilk and that the administration has repeatedly shot down calls for cooperation with the ICC.

The Duterte administration’s outright disregard and contempt for basic rights and freedoms in the past five years, its moves to guarantee impunity, and its continuing bloody programs already tell us otherwise: that it is set to evade accountability at all costs.

At the end of the day, genuine justice is about holding perpetrators of human rights violations accountable, reparations for the victims, and the non-repetition of the crimes and atrocities committed, among other steps to address the root causes of these violations. It is definitely not about being made to agree to a so-called “human rights program” for “technical cooperation” as a facade that the government is addressing the deteriorating state of human rights in the country — while continuing to shamelessly evade accountability.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General