PH to cooperate with UNHRC to address EJK, human rights violations

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque | PNA photo

Malacañang on Thursday, October 8, welcomed the resolution passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that offers assistance in addressing the extrajudicial killings and human rights violations in the Philippines.

“We are thankful for the UN Human Rights Council. Tama po naman iyong kanilang ginawang resolution (The resolution they made is correct),” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

The resolution, adopted on Wednesday, requests High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet to support the Philippines “in its continued fulfillment of its international human rights obligations and commitments.”

The assistance will focus on domestic investigative and accountability measures, data gathering on alleged police violations, engagement with civil society and the Commission on Human Rights, national mechanisms for reporting and follow-up, counterterrorism legislation, and human rights-based approaches to drug control.

The resolution also urges member states, relevant UN agencies and other stakeholders to “encourage and support technical cooperation between the Philippine government and OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights).”

According to Roque, the resolution is proof that the international body trusts the Philippines’ institutions to address violations against human rights.

“Iyan po ay nagpapakita na nagtitiwala pa rin ang UN Human Rights Council sa mga institusyon para mapanagot po ang mga lumalabag sa karapatang pantao ng ating mga kababayan (That shows that the UN Human Rights Council still trusts the institutions to persecute those who violate the human rights of our citizens),” he said.

The spokesman also assured that the country will cooperate with the UNHRC, admitting that the national government is not without flaws.

“We will fully cooperate po with the UN Human Rights system, dahil iyan naman po ang gusto natin (because that’s what we want),” Roque said.

“We are not saying we are perfect, kaya nga kung gusto ninyo, huwag na ninyo kaming pulaan, tulungan na lang ninyo kami (We are not saying we are perfect, that’s why if you want, don’t criticize us, help us instead),” he added.

Roque maintained that the government always welcomes cooperation.

“We always welcome cooperation. Ang ayaw lang po ng Presidente iyong pula nang pula, wala namang solusyon ‘no at ito po ay nanggagaling pa doon sa kakilalang kalaban ng ating gobyerno (The president just doesn’t like criticism without offering solutions and they are coming from the opposition),” he said.

“So, we always welcome cooperation with the United Nations on a very important topic such as human rights,” he added.

The resolution was introduced by the Philippines, India, Nepal and non-member states Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Thailand, and Turkey.

It was supported by 40 states including Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Spain, and Switzerland.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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