Press Statement
4 June 2020


Cristina E. Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General
+63 917 316 2831

Edre U. Olalia
National Union of People’s Lawyers President

On the UN Report on the Philippines:

The Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (EcuVoice) welcomes the 26-page UN OHCHR Report (HRC/44/22) of UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Michelle Bachelet categorically concluding serious human rights violations in the country. The Report, based on 893 written submissions and voluminous materials, validates what Ecuvoice and other human rights defenders have been saying all along.

It highlights the pernicious practice of vilification, criminalization and elimination of free expression, democratic dissent and the continuing vicious attacks including “red-tagging.” It points out persistent and “deep-seated” impunity and the misogynist and
hate language by the Philippine government.

It concludes on the “troubling lack of due process protections” and the official language in policy documents that “may have emboldened police to treat the circular as permission to kill,” pertaining to the government campaign against illegal drugs.

The facts and reality are undeniable and the Report has practically rebuffed the Duterte administration of its false narrative and pretensions about human rights. It is a damning indictment of its non-compliance with principles, standards, instruments and conventions on human rights.

The government must shape up and should seriously rethink its draconian approaches like institutionalizing opportunities for even more widespread violations through dubious “anti-terror” legislation, national security policies and those related to its bloody anti-narcotics campaign.

The OHCHR confirms the “failure of domestic mechanisms to ensure accountability” and hence vindicates the necessity and value of the UN rights mechanisms and platforms as complementary venues for accountability.

We look forward to further concrete action and specific recommendations and resolutions when the Report is taken up by the UN Human Rights Council.

We also hope this Report is also taken into account and consideration by the International Criminal Court as well as the UN Human Rights Committee with its upcoming review on the Philippines. ###


Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

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.