PH tells UN rights council: Don’t ‘weaponize’ rights situation
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano warns the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) not to “weaponize” and “politicize” the human rights situation in the Philippines.
“When does the quest for human rights become a human wrong? It is when human rights is politicized and weaponized,” Cayetano said in his remarks on Tuesday during the High Level Segment of the 37th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva.
While he expressed the government’s “readiness” in submitting itself to a huma rights investigation, Cayetano said that the UN Special Rapporteur should not cry out “like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland.”
“When a UN Special Rapporteur cries out, like the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, ‘First the judgment, then the trial,’ when she culls evidence only for what might support her prejudgment, he or she loses the moral high ground and is stripped of any credibility,” Cayetano stressed.
“All we ask for is fairness,” he said. “There are 7.5 billion people in the world; send anyone except one who has already prejudged us, and who, by any measure, cannot be considered independent and, more so, objective.”
He also called out nongovernment organizations which he said had politiicized the issue by waging a “campaign of misinformation against the Philippines.”
“We will not allow these NGOs to portray an unfair and unjust image of our country nor will we let them question the strength of our democracy,” Cayetano said.
“Some of them have politicized and weaponized the issue for their own gain, putting their political and economic advocacies ahead of genuine human rights advocacies,” he said.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) earlier announced that it would conduct a preliminary examination into crimes allegedly committed by the government since July 1, 2016, or the day after President Rodrigo Duterte took office.
The ICC assured the Philippine government that the preliminary examination would be carried out “with full independence and impartiality in accordance with its mandate and the applicable legal instruments of the Court.” /atm
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