Mindanao Times

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.

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