PH gov’t harbinger of rights violations - Karapatan

“Salvador Panelo’s claim that the Philippine government is a ‘beacon of rights,’ amid its re-election in the UN Human Rights Council, is a statement of a delusional person. More apt, however, is that it is a harbinger of gross human rights violations. Who even believes Panelo when the Duterte government has openly expressed its contempt for human rights? Has he chosen to conveniently forget the pronouncements of President President ordering the execution of such rights violations? Be that as it may, the reality on the ground reveals the real character of this government,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. 

Karapatan insisted that “instead of Panelo’s mindless gloating, the Duterte administration should answer the challenges regarding its compliance to international human rights instruments.”

“We challenge the Duterte government to subject itself fully to the scrutiny and process of the International Criminal Court. We challenge Duterte to stop hindering the independent investigation of the United Nations human rights mechanisms. We challenge the government to prove that there was due process in the conduct of its drug war and counterinsurgency program. We challenge them to withdraw and repeal all legislative measures and agenda that infringe on the people’s basic rights and fundamental freedoms,” Palabay added.

Karapatan, however, noted that the Duterte government will unlikely respond to these challenges, as it seems content in over-reading and gloating over a non-existent endorsement on its policies and programs.  

“It is ironic that while Panelo window-dresses the government’s human rights record, violations such as drug war killings and the killing and arrest of human rights defenders and dissenters continue unabated on the ground,” noted Palabay.

The Karapatan leader also slammed the recent statement from Brigadier General Edgardo Arevalo insisting that the so-called destabilization or ouster plan dubbed by the military as “Red October” may be pushed this December. The Karapatan official took note of how the military is confused with its own pronouncements, claiming that the NPA has dwindled down and cannot pull off such a plot and then immediately making a U-turn by saying that the CPP-NPA has a grandiose plan leading up to October, now December. Palabay also noted the inconsistencies, with the military “clearing” Magdalo and the liberal party from this alleged plot.

“Is the NPA gaining strength to be able to pull this plot? Or are they losing numbers? Is the Liberal Party and the Magdalo involved? Or are they not? Clearly, someone is having a hard time tying loose ends of their absurd conspiracy theories, and is in effect making a total mess of themselves. What we are sure of, however, is how this alleged destabilization plot remains a dangerous maneuver to legitimize the political persecution and attacks against critics of this administration and progressives,” said Palabay.

“We wonder what other colors they will use to describe the next succeeding months -- Orange November, White December, Maroon January? They would have exhausted all colors in a box of crayons and still this alleged plot will remain so long as the government needs a diversion, a shadow to cast people in amid the dire economic and rights situation that the country is facing,” concluded Palabay.

Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831

Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580