The Malacañang on Saturday welcomed the United Nation Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) final adoption of the third Philippine Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report.
“The adoption of the Philippine UPR Report in Geneva recognizes the human rights record of the Philippines and our country’s commitment to human rights under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“This likewise reaffirms our respect for the dignity of the Filipino people and the protection of the Filipino family as we strive for a better life in a society free of illegal drugs and other crimes,” he added.
However, the UPR reports indicated that the Philippine government merely noted several recommendations pertaining to the administration’s deadly war on drugs.
According to human rights group Karapatan, the government “completely glossed over” the 44 recommendations raising alarm on the Duterte administration’s violent crackdown against illegal drugs.
In its September 19 response to the UNHRC’s recommendations in the third cycle of the Philippines’ UPR last May, the Philippine government did not recognize that extrajudicial killings under the administration’s war on drugs take place.
“These are deaths arising from legitimate law enforcement operations or deaths that require further investigation following the established rules of engagement by the country’s law enforcers,” the report said.
It also pointed out that the administration cannot influence the Congress’ deliberations on the reimposition of death penalty and the lowering of criminal liability.
“The State informed that the concerns were subject to further deliberations in the Philippine Congress, which include comprehensive consultations with all stakeholders concerned, the outcome of which the State cannot influence,” the report noted.
The UNHRC on Friday adopted the third Philippine UPR report, which included the 103 state parties’ 257 recommendations to the Philippine government.
Of the 257 recommendations, the Philippine government only accepted and fully supported 103, while simply noting the 44 recommendations relating to the extrajudicial killings and the 23 suggestions to discontinue efforts to revive death penalty.
It also did not approve of Ghana’s recommendation to allow UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard to visit the country and conduct an independent probe without interference and conditions that could compromise her impartiality.