MANILA -- Senator Alan Peter Cayetano will lead the Philippine delegation that will present the country's human rights report before the United Nations Human Rights Council.
According to a report by Nimfa Ravelo on radio dzBB, Cayetano is expecting to defend the Philippines' human rights record, including casualties of the drug war that is the centerpiece of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration, on May 8.
"We're always ready to defend our country, the president's intentions and what's happening in our country. But we're also honest that there are human rights violations but they're not state-sponsored. So we have to be careful to communicate to the world what's really happening but to properly assign blame," Cayetano told reporters.
The senator said he is expecting that questions issues such as death penalty and the criminal liability of minors will be raised by other countries.
"Hindi kami umilag to discuss the campaign against drugs and for the law enforcement and the rule of law. We have a portion doon but limited 'yung time we only have three hours kasi including two hours I think for questioning so pinipili pa namin ano 'yung eemphasize but ang aming tantsa, there will be a lot of questions from other countries on the campaign against drugs, death penalty and criminal liability of minor. 'Yung extrajudicial killings it will fall on campaign against drugs," Cayetano said.
He said Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Presidential Human Rights Committee Undersecretary Severo Catura would also be part of the delegation along with 20 other officials.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has criticized Duterte for "a lack of understanding of human rights institutions."
This will be the third periodic review of the United Nations regarding the Philippines' human rights record. Then-Justice Secretary Leila de Lima headed the government delegation during the second cycle of the review. De Lima, now a senator, is detained at the PNP Custodial Center on illegal drug charges.
Aside from the government delegation, a 10-man panel of human rights activists will also travel to the event next month in an effort to urge the UN to look into the reality of the country's human rights violations.
Philippine Universal Periodic Review convenor Fr. Rex Reyes Jr. earlier said that among the issues the panel will discuss at the UN Human Rights Council are the spate of killings under President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war and the protection of human rights defenders.
The Aquino administration would also be under the review since the third cycle of the UPR covers the period from May 2012 to September 2016.
The Commission on Human Rights, for its part, will submit its own report in October, when the UNHRC is expected to release its final recommendation. — GMA News
- Published in Top Stories