Palace: Recommendation by UN experts shows bias vs Duterte administration
MANILA, Philippines — The move by United Nations human rights experts to urge its member states on imposing sanctions against Philippine officials over alleged human rights abuse is proof of their “bias” against the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Friday.
UN human rights experts called on the body’s member states to “initiate governmental sanctions and criminal prosecution” against officials who “committed, incited, or failed to prevent human rights abuses.”
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque slammed how the recommendation of these special rapporteurs ignores the domestic system and local laws of the Philippines.
“Unang una po, itong ganitong rekomendasyon na binabale wala na meron po tayong domestic system, meron po tayong mga lokal na batas, meron tayong mga lokal na institusyon gaya ng piskalaya at ng ating hukuman, ay nagpapatunay po sa bias nitong mga special rapporteurs laban po sa administrasyon ni Presidente Duterte,” Roque said in an online briefing.
(First of all, this recommendation ignores that we have a domestic system, we have local laws, we have institutions like the fiscal and courts, shows the special rapporteurs’ bias against President Duterte’s administration.)
In a separate statement, Roque said the conclusions made by the UN experts “confirm the lack of impartiality that has unfortunately tainted the human rights mechanisms of the United Nations when it comes to the Duterte Administration.”
The UN experts issued the call in light of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights report which stated that human rights violations in the Philippines stem from its government’s “heavy-handed approach” against national security threats and illegal drugs.
Working institutions, laws in place
Roque maintained that the country has continuously “discharged its obligations to punish violations of human rights,” noting that it has “working” legislation and mechanisms in place.
“Unang una po, meron po kaming mga gumaganang institusyon. Meron po kaming mga piskal, meron pong mga hukuman na gumagana,” Roque said.
(First, we have working institutions. We have fiscal, we have courts that are working.)
“Pangalawa, hindi po kinakailangang manghimasok ang mga dayuhan dahil meron po kaming mga batas dito sa Pilipinas,” he went on.
(Second, foreigners do not have to intervene since we have laws here in the Philippines.)
Roque said there are existing laws against “torture and enforced disappearances, laws to the enforce international humanitarian law, and penal laws that have been crafted to protect and promote human rights as enshrined in our Constitution.”
“We call on the special rapporteurs to respect our legal system and the Philippines as a sovereign state,” he added.
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