September 23, 2017
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, 0918-9790580
PH Gov’t ‘victory’ in Geneva a farce – Karapatan
Today, September 23, 2017, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) released a statement alluding to a so-called ‘victory’ by the PH Government after the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted its human rights report card.
“The PH government delegation to Geneva conveniently glosses over the fact that it did not accept any of the 44 recommendations related to extrajudicial killings, none of the 23 recommendations calling for the government to discontinue efforts to revive death penalty, and none of the 13 recommendations aimed at the protecting and creating an enabling environment for human rights defenders and journalists. This are key recommendations that need urgent attention, and yet are furtively brushed off by the Duterte administration,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.
During the Philippines Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Adoption Session, Ambassador Evan Garcia, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, even concluded with dismissive statements directed at interventions pressing the government to address the worsening human rights crisis in the PH. Ambassador Garcia said that there is no impunity in the country, that investigations are ongoing for all cases of alleged EJKs, and that the interventions are an example of the so-called ‘vibrant democracy’ in the country.
Palabay pressed that “this has been a farcical display of fraudulence, overbearance, and outright misrepresentation of the situation. The Duterte regime and its representatives are shameless in using such a platform to promote distorted facts. Interventions by civil society in the UPR were made because colleagues are being killed or are being harassed. This is not indicative of a vibrant democracy, but of a government who incessantly believes in the rightness of its militarist, fascist, and tyrannical ways.”
Karapatan also cited the recent 2017 Global Impunity Index released by Universidad de las Americas or UNDAP, naming the Philippines as the country with the highest level of impunity among 69 countries. “Human rights violations committed with impunity is the order of the day in the Philippines,” Palabay said.
“There is very little to recognize in the Duterte regime’s human rights record, save for the increasing political repression, State fascism, and impunity among State forces. PH representatives have banked on its euphemistic and bloated report that fails to reflect, and even intentionally subverts, the human rights situation on the ground. However, rhetoric cannot compensate for the rising death toll, the swelling protests, the rage of the oppressed and repressed people who have been deprived of their basic human rights. The people’s actions and protests exposes this revolting circus of lies, and remain as proof that the human rights situation in the country is not a ‘victory’ and will be the Duterte regime’s undoing,” Palabay concluded.
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
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KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.