‘Phl not obliged to re­spond to UN rights let­ters’

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - By PAOLO ROMERO

The govern­ment is un­der no obli­ga­tion to re­spond to ev­ery com­mu­ni­ca­tion sent by the United Na­tions, sen­a­tors said yes­ter­day.

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Aquilino Pi­mentel III said the com­plaint raised by the UN hu­man rights body is best left to the ex­ec­u­tive branch to ad­dress.

“I’m sure re­spond­ing promptly is part of in­ter­na­tional good prac­tice and eti­quette but I’m also sure that no sov­er­eign coun­try can be forced to re­ply to a let­ter from the UN,” Pi­mentel said in a text message.

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Vi­cente Sotto III bris­tled at the UN Hu­man Rights-Asia’s com­plaint.

He said the Philip­pines does not have to re­act since the UN body is of­ten mis­in­formed.

Sen. Pan­filo Lac­son, chair­man of the Se­nate com­mit­tee on public order and dan­ger­ous drugs, said he him­self got the same treat­ment from other hu­man rights bod­ies, in­clud­ing Amnesty In­ter­na­tional.

“For rea­sons only known to them, they have like­wise ig­nored my let­ter sev­eral months ago ask­ing for some de­tails of their sup­posed find­ings or re­sults of their fact-find­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion on the al­leged vi­o­la­tions of hu­man rights by our law en­force­ment agen­cies in re­la­tion to the anti-drug cam­paign un­der the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion,” Lac­son said.

He said their re­sponse would have been use­ful so the com­mit­tee can ef­fec­tively ex­er­cise over­sight over the po­lice and be able to craft re­lated leg­is­la­tion.

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