Oliver 9 0 0 7 min to read

The PBBM administration works hard to advance human rights.

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According to Malacanang, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s government has achieved tremendous progress in advancing and defending human rights in the nation.

The government is putting reform measures into place, according to Undersecretary Cheloy Garafil, Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Press Secretary.

Investigative and accountability procedures, according to Garafil, are being streamlined for “better case build-up” since Marcos took office on June 30.

Garafil further emphasized that the current administration does not support illegal actions connected to anti-drug operations, pointing out the indictment of 25 PNP officers as a result of an internal inquiry into abuse incidents.

As a consequence of the Review Panel’s investigation of occurrences related to the anti-illegal drug campaign, 25 police officers were indicted, “proving that the rule of law applies to everyone under the Marcos administration,” she stated.

According to Garafil, so far, 98 police officers have been suspended, 18 have been demoted, and 27 have been fired from their positions.

While a thorough investigation into the death of journalist Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa is ongoing, the justice sector reforms, particularly the implementation of the program aimed at decongesting detention facilities, resulted in the recent release of over 700 people who had been imprisoned.

In the Percy Lapid case, she stated, “the Chief Executive has praised the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation for doing an excellent job, noting that the case was nearly solved in 17 days, with a high-ranking government figure being hailed as the likely mastermind.”

United Nations evaluation

Following a review of the human rights situation in the Philippines by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Garafil made his remarks.

During the fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, Switzerland, Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla told the UNHRC that the Philippines has a “thriving, lively, and participatory democratic space.”

Remulla informed the UN panel that the Philippine government does not and will not tolerate impunity and violations of human rights.

Out of the 257 recommendations from the third cycle of the UPR, the Philippines has accepted 103 and put them into practice. Among these are the national agenda on human rights, which has been in place since the third cycle of the UPR in 2017 and is based on the four pillars of reforms in the areas of justice and law enforcement, investments in economic, social, and cultural rights, constructive and open engagement with the international community, and protection of vulnerable groups.

Following the President’s order to implement “comprehensive, transformational reforms across all five pillars of our justice system,” Remulla placed emphasis on improving national accountability systems.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Remulla stated, “These are game-changing reforms aimed at reshaping the Philippines’ legal system so that we can deliver real justice in real-time, which we owe to the Filipino people.”

The administration, according to Remulla, won’t hesitate to act when there is convincing evidence to support it and to dispel the false perception that there is a culture of impunity.

Remulla emphasized that “we will not tolerate the denial of justice or any infringement of human rights.”

Remulla also discussed the following steps for the planned training program on the Minnesota Protocol on the Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death for authorities, with the participation of the Commission on Human Rights and other stakeholders, with Morris Tidball-Binz, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, on Sunday.

Remulla revealed that the United States and the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights are in talks with partners about the possibility of the Philippines temporarily hosting other people who are at risk. The Philippines currently hosts Rohingya refugees and offers them free education through the Complementary Pathway program.

The Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the UN Office in Geneva Evan Garcia, the Undersecretaries of the Departments of Justice Jesse Andres and Raul Vasquez, the Undersecretary of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat Severo Catura, and other representatives from the Departments of Justice and Foreign Affairs are also included in the delegation from the Philippines.

participant in action

Each of the 193 UN member states’ human rights records is periodically reviewed as part of the UPR, which also gives each state the chance to outline the steps it has taken to advance the state of human rights.

During the 41st session of the UPR Working Group, which will end on November 18, the Philippines is present along with 13 other nations: Algeria, Bahrain, Brazil, Ecuador, Finland, India, Indonesia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.

Additionally, the Philippines took part in the UPR in 2008, 2012, and 2017.

In a June meeting with Gustavo Gonzales, the UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines, Marcos swore to maintain and defend human rights in his country.

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