‘Transcript of whining:’ Locsin slams UNHRC report on reprisals vs rights activists
MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. opted to ignore a report by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on alleged attacks on human rights defenders and groups in 48 countries, including the Philippines, describing it as “shoddy work.”
The UNHRC’s report, which Locsin also described as a “transcript of their whining,” highlights alleged acts of intimidation and reprisals against groups keen on cooperating or have cooperated with the international organization regarding human rights issues.
“The UNHRC report reads like it was written by accusers,” Locsin said over Twitter on Monday.
“It reads like a transcript of their winning. Shoddy work. Ignore it,” he added.
Philippines among countries with rising reprisals against rights activists | https://t.co/XX45vHMG7P THE UNHRC REPORT READS LIKE IT WAS WRITTEN BY THE ACCUSERS. IT READS LIKE A TRANSCRIPT OF THEIR WHINING. SHODDY WORK. IGNORE IT. https://t.co/YM5xaI93p7 via @po_st
— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) September 23, 2019
In the report, the UNHRC said that the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights “continue to be under surveillance” by state agents and that threats “have been made against their lives and security, amid calls for their resignation.”
The UNHRC likewise reported on the detention of Senator Leila de Lima, which it deemed “arbitrary” and called for her immediate release.
It also mentioned a 2018 report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres which noted that “multiple actors expressed concern at the February 2018 petition of the Department of Justice to a Manila court which sought to declare the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) as ‘terrorist’ organizations.”
It said that the petition included a list of names labelled as “de facto terrorists.”
“Among them recognized human rights defenders, indigenous peoples’ representatives, and representatives of community-based organizations, a number of which had been long-standing partners of the United Nations,” the report said.
The body said that even after the Manila Regional Trial Court had reportedly requested the removal of multiple names from the list based on a petition in July 2018 and the Department of Justice amended the original petition to an abridged list in January this year, “[m]ultiple individuals still report being targets, having been previously listed and are subjected to harassment, surveillance and stigmatization.”
In July 2019, the same body adopted an Iceland-initiated draft resolution prompting the council to look into the human rights situation in the Philippines, including drug war killings under the Duterte administration. /gsg
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