In response to the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines, the Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns Inc. together with other local and international human rights organization has called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to act on the OHCHR report on the Philippines.

Read the statement below:


ORAL STATEMENT

HRC45 - Item 4: General Debate


25 September 2020

NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL NGOS URGE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL TO RESPOND CREDIBLY TO DAMNING OHCHR REPORT ON THE PHILIPPINES


UN Human Rights Council

Forty-fifth session

14 September – 7 October 2020

Madam President,
I speak on behalf of 35 organisations, deeply concerned by the situation in the Philippines. We urge this Council to respond credibly to the grave findings and recommendations of the recent OHCHR report.
Developments since that report indicate further deterioration, with ongoing incitement to kill by the President, the promotion of an architect of the anti-drug strategy to police chief, the passing of an overbroad anti-terror law ripe for abuse, the conviction of journalist Maria Ressa and shutdown of media network ABS-CBN, the murder of activists and a journalist and a new spike in police killings.
In terms of cooperation, the Philippines refused access to OHCHR in the preparation of the report and continues to bar entry to Special Procedures. The Secretary-General and High Commissioner have raised significant concerns over reprisals. The Government does not acknowledge widespread and systematic killings as a problem, in fact it encourages them and rejects the OHCHR’s findings. Serious violations continue.
The Government’s announced Inter-Agency Panel lacks any transparency and directly involves branches of Government implicated in these abuses. As such, it clearly cannot satisfy international standards of independence, nor can it be seen as credible or safe for victims to engage with.
Madam President,
Our organisations have urged and continue to urge this Council to launch an independent international investigation.
The High Commissioner has clearly asked the Council to renew her mandate to monitor and report on the wider situation, as well as to provide technical cooperation to “implement the report’s recommendations,” and “continue to pursue accountability”. We urge this Council – at absolute minimum – to ensure continued monitoring and reporting on all aspects of the situation as clearly recommended by the High Commissioner. Anything less would not only be an insult to victims and their families, but send a green light to perpetrators that they can continue with impunity, with disastrous consequences on the ground.

Thank you.

Co-signatories:

– Action Network Human Rights Philippines (AMP)

– Article 19

– Child Alert Mindanao

– Children’s Legal Rights and Development Center (CLRDC)

– CIVICUS Alliance

– Coalition Against Summary Executions

– Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND)

– Franciscans International

– Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception

– Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG)

– Freedom House

– Harm Reduction International

– Human Rights Watch

– In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND)

– International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP)

– International Commission of Jurists

– International Drug Policy Consortium

– International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

– International Service for Human Rights

– Karapatan Alliance Philippines

– Medical Action Group

– National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

– Network Against Killings in the Philippines (NakPhil)

– Partnership Mission for People’s Initiatives (PMPI)

– Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)

– Philippine Misereor Partnership Inc. (PMPI)

– Philippine Human Rights Information Center

– Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns

– Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund (SCLF)

– Tambayan

– The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

– Task Force Detainees of the Philippines

– World Council of Churches

– World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)