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PH human rights groups submit alternative human rights report to UN
treaty body

KARAPATAN Human Rights Update on behalf of publicinfo, karapatanhr,

Press Release –

14 September 2022

A decade since the United Nations Human Rights Committee conducted a
review on the Philippine government’s compliance to the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the State party will
undergo a fifth review before the UN treaty body this coming October
2022, with non-governmental organizations providing alternative
submissions to the government report.

Human rights group Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi, an association of women
human rights defenders, submitted their 29-page joint alternative report
on September 12, covering human rights issues during the administrations
of Benigno Aquino III and Rodrigo Duterte, as well as the first months
of the Marcos Jr. administration.

In their report, they stated that “the human rights situation in the
country has spiraled into a crisis,” as they documented and witnessed
gross violations on the right to life and civil liberties, the deeper
and pervasive climate of impunity and the dire lack of effective
domestic mechanisms for redress and accountability, closing civic and
democratic spaces, and unmet obligations to core international human
rights instruments, including the ICCPR.

They cited the continuing impunity since the Marcos Sr. regime, with the
dictator and his family as well as cohorts yet to be made fully
accountable for their acts of gross human rights violations and massive
corruption during martial law, impeding efforts towards truth and justice.

“Marcos Jr.’s recent defense of his dictator-father’s martial law
glosses over their family’s rapacious intent to monopolize political
power and prolong their rule by suppressing political dissent and
pocketing billions from the nation’s coffers. Clearly, Marcos Jr.’s
presidency seeks to erase all the crimes of the Marcoses against the
Filipino people, to enable them to keep their massive loot from public
funds, and to further their political ambitions,” said Karapatan
Secretary General Cristina Palabay, reacting to Marcos Jr.’s recent
interview defending his father’s imposition of martial law.

Karapatan added that “Marcos Jr. continues the draconian and repressive
policies of the Duterte administration, wielding and foisting the
anti-terror law and other repressive policies against those who uphold
and defend human and people’s rights.”

“Marcos Jr. is not intent on immediately prosecuting those involved in
the gross human rights violations during the Duterte administration and
with domestic remedies remaining largely ineffective in pursuing
accountability, the climate of impunity remains pervasive,” Palabay said.

Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi highlighted “serious human rights violations”
committed by State actors including extrajudicial killings in the drug
war and counterinsurgency programs of the Philippine government;
numerous cases of illegal/arbitrary arrests and detention, threats
including red- and terrorist-tagging, and judicial harassment;
infringement on press freedom and freedom of expression, as well as
freedom of association and academic freedom; forced evacuations and
bombings of communities due to military operations; cruel and degrading
treatment of prisoners including political prisoners; gendered attacks
against women and LGBTQ human rights defenders, among others.

“There is an even more urgent need for the international community and
the UN human rights mechanisms to undertake decisive steps for an
independent investigation on these concerns and to continue to monitor
and report on the human rights situation in the Philippines. We urge the
members of the UN Human Rights Committee to comprehensively evaluate how
the ICCPR has been grossly violated by the Philippine government through
the many years after the last review,” Palabay said.

The groups are also set to participate in the 51st session of the UN
Human Rights Council and the UN Universal Periodic Review, with the
Philippines under scrutiny in the next two months by the UN mechanisms.

*Karapatan and Tanggol Bayi’s report can be viewed through this link:

Cristina Palabay, Karapatan Secretary General, +639173162831
Karapatan Public Information Desk, +639189790580