By: Genalyn Kabiling
A group of United Nations experts has released a “very strongly-worded” statement on alleged human rights violations in the Philippines but failed to get the side of President Duterte, a Palace official complained yesterday.
Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Kristian Ablan said the UN body should at least coordinate with the Office of the President (OP) about its report on the human rights situation in the country.
“The article mentions that the e UN human rights experts have been in contact with the government of the Philippines regarding these concerns. We are curious what agencies of government did they coordinated with. As far as the PCO is concerned, OP has not been contacted by the UNHR (United Nations Human Rights Council),” Ablan said in a Palace news conference.
“If it’s perhaps the CHR (Commission on Human Rights), then we’d like to reach out to the UN to coordinate with the OP,” he added.
The group, including UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard, earlier called on the Philippine government to address alleged human rights violations including murder, threats against indigenous peoples and summary execution of children.
“Attacks are spiralling against many groups in society and we are making an urgent appeal for Government action,” said a joint statement issued by Callamard; Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children.
They asked the government to “ensure effective protection of individuals and groups who may be subject to extra-legal, arbitrary or summary executions, or those who received death threats.”
The government must also prevent incitement to violence or killings against indigenous communities, human rights defenders and farmers, they said.