MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will be a “central partner” in the United Nations Joint Program on Human Rights (UNJP), UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez said Tuesday.
“This UN joint program is a critical milestone. This is the first-ever UN joint program on human rights in the Philippines, where we put together the capacities and resources of the UN in support of a wide range of national institutions. And the PNP is a central partner in this undertaking,” he said.
The UNJP is a three-year undertaking between Manila and the UN to promote a human rights-based approach to combatting terrorism and illegal drugs in the country.
In a meeting with Gonzalez, PNP chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said the agency is fully committed to the UNJP as he expressed his appreciation to the UN’s commitment to cooperate with the government.
He added that “the PNP has opened its office to any queries on human rights from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and that the PNP is committed to give its full support to the joint program.”
The UNJP is in line with Human Rights Council Resolution 45/33, adopted in October 2020, and reaffirms Manila’s commitment to engage actively with the international community in addressing the country’s human rights concerns.
It also calls for technical cooperation and capacity-building for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines.
Aside from the PNP, the UNJP is being co-implemented by the DOJ, the DFA, the Presidential Human Rights Committee, the Dangerous Drugs Board, the Anti-Terrorism Council, and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). Civil Society Organizations and the academe are also core partners in the implementation of the program.
Four UN agencies –the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNOHCHR), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the UN Office on Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)– are part of the technical cooperation.
The UNJP will support the government’s efforts to combat terrorism by applying a human rights-based approach and supporting the CHR in monitoring compliance in the implementation of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.
It will apply a similar approach in combatting illegal drugs, including through alternatives to detention, alleviating prison overcrowding, and long pre-trial detention.
In his statement, Gonzalez said: “Now is the time to reset, to rebuild and recover better, guided by a strong commitment to human right. The new UN joint program is expected to contribute to such national endeavor.” (PNA)