MANILA – The national government is revving up its efforts for the advancement of human rights in the country, a Palace official said on Friday.
“We affirm to further pursue human rights-related programs as we’ve always been doing for years, especially under this administration—and now this time, we affirming the advancement of human rights in partnership with the United Nations,” said Undersecretary Severo Catura, Executive Director of Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat (PHRCS).
Catura said various significant advancements have marked the country’s human rights efforts despite massive criticisms reaching the United Nations (UN) against the Philippines.
“I would like to use as a basis the very positive reaction from the human rights council as I’ve said—it has been a challenge for the Philippines to really convey the correct information on what is happening with us and as I’ve said it has been so focused on the very sensitive and confidential issues that really gives us a bad name to the international arena,” Catura said, when asked if the state is doing progress in addressing human rights violation issues.
Catura said the United Nations (UN) has already seen the advance efforts of the country related to human rights advocacy.
“We have taken all efforts to convey the truth and [this] factual information and I believe we’ve able to succeed, the support that they have been able to see the advance human rights in many areas,” he said.
Catura said human rights should not be limited to “what arguments that typical groups” posed about the country.
“Oftentimes, we talk about EJKs [extrajudicial killings], we talk about deaths arising on illegal drug campaign, they talk about torture, they talk about harassment, they talk about suppression of rights or oppressed freedom,” Catura said.
Catura said the country has already addressed these issues and made the UN realized that the government has done many accountable mechanisms to promote, protect, and fulfill the human rights of its citizens.
“This manifestation of a realization has resulted in a resolution that supported the Philippines which actually, in fact, disregards the call for the international mission to come to the Philippines,” he added.
Catura said there is now a strong partnership between the UN and the Philippines “to move forward and to really advance all these mechanisms.”
“This reflects on how that these advancements are being recognized and highly recommended,” he added. “If you are going to compare it to the other countries, let me just say that in the ASEAN region we are considered as a champion on human rights—this has been recognized in many of our friends in the ASEAN and these have always come out in many of their reports that recognition.”
Catura, meanwhile, reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks that human rights should also include the right to have a society that is free from terrorism, illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality. (PNA)