PH calls for prudence amid HR allegations
MANILA -- Amid allegations of human rights violations in the Philippines, a Palace official on Wednesday urged top officials of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to be more cautious about claims made by critics and detractors of the Duterte administration, particularly those belonging to groups listed as terrorist organizations.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar made this remark during the 43rd Session of the Human Rights Council, High Level Segment in the United Nations in Geneva where he described the administration as a “victim” of arbitrary action made by the council.
“We repeat the call for prudence in assessing claims particularly from sources who have enjoyed the hallowed status of human rights defenders while waging the longest insurgency in Asia and terrorizing communities in the Philippines,” Andanar said in a speech delivered before officials of the UNHRC.
He lamented that discussions on the human rights situation in the country have been swayed by “baseless allegations” and that the Council has “failed to exhaust mechanisms for constructive, reasonable, and fact-based discourse.”
“A credible Council cannot base its actions on such inscrutable claims. These claims do not hold their truth against the wellfounded accountability mechanisms in the country, the tangible accomplishments of the anti-illegal drug campaign, the growing investors’ confidence in the Philippine economy, and the high level of public support for the leadership of President (Rodrigo) Duterte,” he said. suesCounterinsurgency is
Despite being tagged as a terrorist organization by several countries, he said the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) has continued to criticize government’s legitimate anti-insurgency actions as red-tagging, curtailment of civic space, and weaponization of bureaucracy against their armed struggle.
“That actors who profess terrorism are able to exploit the mantle protecting human rights defenders is a failure of due diligence on the part of the UN system,” he said, though stressed that it is not too late to rectify this.