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TALL TALES ON HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATION EXPECTED FROM PH GOV’T ON 4TH UPR

There is nothing new with the Philippine government’s report on the human rights situation in the Philippines, when it is subjected to the 4th cycle of the Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council.

We expect the tall tales and big words – “transformational reform,” “real justice in real time” – which are empty rhetoric. The same words were used during diplomatic briefings, statements, and reports to the UN Human Rights Committee.

But facts, experiences and implementation of policies on the ground reveal the realities.

Media groups submit complaints to UN experts before PH human rights review

GENEVA, Switzerland - Media and academic groups submitted complaints to the office of United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor several days before the United Nations Human Rights Council conducts its universal periodic review on the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Pinoy Media Center (PMC), publisher of Pinoy Weekly, reported that then National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon has ordered the blocking of their website and 27 other organizations, which is still inaccessible to the public.

In its letter to Lawlor, the independent media outfit also stated that its website have also been subject to continuous cyber-attacks since 2018. The website www.pinoyweekly.org had also been hacked between November 17 and 18, 2021, the PMC said.

UN expert: PH ignoring human rights recommendations by other governments

A United Nations (UN) expert criticized the Philippine government on its failure to abide by recommendations made by other countries on the human rights situation in the Philippines.

In a forum at the UN in Geneva last Thursday, November 10, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor said she finds it “quite unsettling” that the Philippine government has ignored the 11 recommendations made when the country was last reviewed in May 2017.

“When I compare them to the 24 communications that were sent by the mandate to the government over the same period (2017-2022), I can see little has been done to take the recommendations on board,” Lawlor said.

Senator dela Rosa wants to live in a cave

GENEVA, Switzerland -- The United Nations Human Rights Committee is not interfering in our country’s sovereignty in issuing its recommendations on the human rights situation in the Philippines.

The Philippines is a signatory to and has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as its Optional Protocols 1 and 2. It actively participated in the review regarding its compliance to the ICCPR by submitting a national report, belated as it is, a reply to list of issues and through a high-level mission led by no less than Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla last October. In fact, Sec. Remulla is again set to arrive here on Monday, November 14, to participate in the United Nations Human Rights Council universal periodic review on the human rights situation in the Philippines. The Philippine government cannot have its cake and throw it too.

Zubiri is insensitive to human rights violations victims

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri’s attempt to feign ignorance on the continuing human rights violations and the utter lack of justice and accountability in the Philippines reeks of insensitivity and brazen disregard of the sordid plight of thousands of victims of extrajudicial killings and human rights violations and their kin.

Senator Zubiri was way out of tune in his response to media questions about damning international observations on the human rights situation in the Philippines. If the issue of extrajudicial killings is to be regarded as “lumang tugtugin” at all, it is because the killings have been going on for so long.