After EU Parliament resolution on PH: Malacañang fails to hide facts and truths on rights situation in the country

Karapatan today chided Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque for their “miserable failure to hide the atrocities of the Duterte regime before the international community by invoking national sovereignty when it is besieged with solid and incontrovertible facts and truth on the human rights situation in the Philippines.” 

On Friday, the two Malacañang officials called out the European Union Parliament on its April 18, 2018 resolution regarding human rights issues in the Philippines. The EU Parliament called on the Philippine government to end extrajudicial killings in its drug war; to remove human rights defenders, including UN Special Rapporteur Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, from the terrorist listing and to drop all charges against them; to halt efforts toward the reinstatement of the death penalty and the legislation lowering the minimum age of criminal accountability; to stop banning entry into the country of persons perceived as critics of Duterte’s policies; to abide by its obligations to protect rights of indigenous peoples; for the President to refrain from inciting violence against women; and to release Sen. Leila de Lima. 

The EU Parliament also condemned all threats, harassment, intimidation and violence against human rights defenders, journalists and activists; all forms of violence against women, including Duterte’s demeaning and misogynist statements about women fighters; and the Philippine National Police’s falsification of evidence to justify extrajudicial killings. 

“Cayetano and Roque feign ignorance on the fact that the figures on the number of individuals killed in the drug war were from the Duterte government’s own 2017 accomplishment report. They both deny the fact that Duterte himself have made several pronouncements encouraging, inciting and ordering his police to kill suspected drug addicts, when even the government’s own website and a simple Google search reveal the complicity and accountability of Duterte on these killings. Both also deliberately and conveniently forget the fact that the Philippines is bound by its commitments to international human rights instruments and thus it is but reasonable that its non-compliance to these obligations be put under scrutiny,” said Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General. 

Karapatan said that “the EU Parliament resolution reflected the issues experienced by human rights defenders and activists, especially the worsening attacks of the Duterte regime on those who conduct human rights work in the Philippines.”

“We also noted that the EU Parliament reaffirmed Karapatan’s call for the removal of the Philippine government from the UN Human Rights Council (UN HRC). It is a paradox that Philippines remains a member, and a Vice President at that, of a body which supposedly ensures the protection of human rights, when it has one of the worst human rights record in the world. Even with the Philippine government’s removal from the UN HRC, the Duterte government is still bound by its obligations to all international human rights conventions, treaties, covenants and declarations,” Palabay concluded.

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580