[google-translator]

After UNHRC Resolution, heighten the clamour for international independent investigation on PH rights situation and accountability from the Duterte gov’t

After UNHRC Resolution, heighten the clamour for international independent investigation on PH rights situation and accountability from the Duterte gov’t

Photo credit: picture-alliance/AP Photo/B. Marquez

IBON International joins people’s movements and civil society in amplifying our call to end the killings and reign of terror in the country, and to deliver justice to the victims. We reiterate our demand for an immediate international, independent and impartial investigation on the rights abuses in the country.

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution on the Philippine rights situation on 7 October 2020 prescribing technical cooperation between relevant UN bodies and the Philippine government and capacity-building of domestic mechanisms to address the deplorable rights situation in the country.

The resolution indicates that the Philippine rights situation will be in the agenda of future UNHRC sessions, and provides a modicum of assurance that the Duterte administration will constantly be under international scrutiny.

However, the resolution disregards the call of rights groups, people’s organisations and civil society, including IBON International, to UN bodies and the international community for an independent investigation of human rights violations in the country, among other demands towards justice and accountability.

IBON International joins people’s movements and civil society in amplifying our call to end the killings and reign of terror in the country, and to deliver justice to the victims. We reiterate our demand for an immediate international, independent and impartial investigation on the rights abuses in the country.

We recall the recommendations of the report of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) that align with our demands, including the abolishment of current policies, such as Executive Order No. 70 and the 2020 “Terror Law,” which sanction attacks against activists and reinforce terror and impunity in the country.

While the resolution mentions in passing the OHCHR report, it ignores its findings and recommendations. Despite Duterte’s claims before the UN General Assembly, domestic mechanisms have time and again failed to address redress of grievances and deliver justice to victims as stated in the OHCHR report. The resolution glosses over the systemic erosion of human rights, and alarming record-high killings and rights violations that pile up amid current health and economic crises. It reflects a stubborn refusal to heed people’s legitimate calls towards justice and accountability, and does not live up to the UNHRC mandate as an international body tasked to protect people’s rights.

People’s movements and civil society – who are among victims and targets themselves of killings, rights violations, and vilification by state actors and complicit entities, such as unidentified assailants and corporations which are known to hire goons to suppress resistance against corporate plunder and abuse – are persistent in their efforts to end the drug war killings against the poor and systemic attacks against activists. Last September was designated as Month of Global Solidarity for the Philippines, and concerned organisations and individuals all over the world organised mobilisations to draw attention and call for immediate action on the rights situation in the country. More than 700 groups worldwide joined the Global Day of Action for the Philippines on 14 September, coinciding with the opening of the 45th Regular Session of the UNHRC.

Despite disappointment over the outcome of the UNHRC resolution, people’s organisations and civil society will persevere and continue efforts to end the drug war killings against the poor and systemic attacks against activists. We urge concerned organisations to participate in CSO-led investigations on the Philippine rights situation.

The Filipino people’s struggle for rights and democracy under the militarised Duterte regime has generated worldwide support. People’s efforts are reflected on the pushing through of the OHCHR report, the joint statement of the UN Special Rapporteurs that endorses the OHCHR report and calls for an independent international investigation in the country and the mobilisation of the International Criminal Court on the situation, European Parliament’s resolution that expresses similar support for an independent international investigation and withdrawal of trade privileges, and the US Congress bill aiming to end military and police aid to the Philippine government.

Despite disappointment over the outcome of the UNHRC resolution, people’s organisations and civil society will persevere and continue efforts. IBON International joins the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, a global network of organisations working on addressing human rights concerns in the country, in leading an international initiative aiming to contribute to efforts on addressing the rights abuses in the country. We urge concerned organisations to participate in this CSO-led investigation and other similar initiatives.

We enjoin peoples’ movements, civil society, governments, parliaments, and concerned individuals to support the Filipino people’s calls and demands.  We cannot waver until the killings end, state and complicit entities are held accountable and prosecuted, and justice is served. ###

 

Leave a Reply

Close Menu