DFA slams Callamard, 10 others over calls for UN probe into state of human rights in PHL

(Eagle News)–The Department of Foreign Affairs has rejected the call of some parties at the United Nations for a probe into the state of human rights in the Philippines.

In a statement, the DFA said these parties merely “want to undermine processes and spread disinformation, on the basis of one-sided reports coming from questionable sources.”

“The Philippines is a democratic nation with strong institutions and the government has an unshakeable determination to promote and protect the human rights of every Filipino,” the DFA  said.

According to the department, the action of the parties indicates their refusal  “to engage in true dialogue.”

“By ignoring the accountability and other information provided by the Philippines in good faith, these parties show their bias and political agenda and assail the credibility and objectivity of the human rights mechanisms as constructive platforms of dialogue between the UN and the member states,” the DFA added.

On Friday, 11 people called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to launch an independent investigation on the alleged violations in the Philippines.

In a statement posted on the UN Human Rights Office of the UN High Commissioner, Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Meskerem Geset Techane, Chair of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and in practice; Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur on the right to food; Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Clément Nyaletsossi Voulé, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez, Chair-Rapporteur, Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Dainius Pῡras, Special Rapporteur on the right to health; Victoria Lucia Tauli-Corpuz, Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous people; Dubravka Šimonović, Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences; and Diego García-Sayán, Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers; said the Philippine government “has shown no indication that they will step up to fulfill their obligation to conduct prompt and full investigations into these cases, and to hold perpetrators accountable in order to do justice for victims and to prevent reoccurrence of violations.”

“It is time for the Human Rights Council to take action against these sustained attacks on human rights defenders and independent watchdog institutions,” the group said.