Wednesday, June 7, 2017

PH as a member has to let reports and probes done – UN

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights noted the “smear campaigns” being done against the likes of Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions Agnes Callamard of the Philippines when the international body wanted to probe the state of human rights in the country.

"Becoming party to an international human rights treaty is a commitment which the State makes, above all, to its own people. Reporting procedures aim to identify gaps in protection and measures taken to correct them. They are not optional,” Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said during the three-week long UN Human Rights Council.

Threats and insults have been issued against several interested international probers, and Callamard was even forced to cancel her official visit to the Philippines due to public aversion.

"Three have recently been subjected to smear and hate campaigns, some involving incitement to violence: the Special Rapporteur on Myanmar; the Special Rapporteur on Summary Executions, in the context of discussions on the Philippines; and the Special Rapporteur on Iran. This is absolutely unacceptable," Al-Hussein said.

He called on the Special Procedures to “consider what actions” may be taken in order to “prevent these sorts of campaigns”.

Al-Hussein pointed out, without mentioning President Rodrigo Duterte’s name, that a “thug-like” leader like the latter will not bar the will of the UN to scrutinize and probe into the human rights affair of the Philippines.

"Do they not feel disgusted with themselves when they incite or condone acts of violence and bigotry? When they remark that every soldier should be limited to three rapes of village women each, have they no conscience? Promising bounties for killing people – people not convicted of crime, or charged with crime, but merely suspected, or imagined, criminals," he said.

He further slighted the President by describing him as a leader who openly breaks the rules of his own land and his obligations to the people.

"Seeking to withdraw from laws to combat violence against women and domestic battery, claiming they represent a so-called "gender ideology." Jailing principled judges and advocates, journalists, human rights defenders, university professors and teachers, and closing universities. Trading in malice, cruelty, insults and lies. What of their shame?" Al-Hussein expressed.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano had attended as part of the Philippine Delegation in the universal periodic review of the UN last month and brought to light the doubtful information Callamard had.

"The system of sending special rapporteurs has oftentimes been effective. But sometimes this could create more harm than good especially when human rights is politicized," Cayetano said as he was concerned over the impartiality and fairness of Callamard’s report on the Philippines.

Source: GMA News Online

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