Madame Vice President, 

The Philippines wishes to exercise its right of reply with respect to statements of the European Union, France, and Germany.

We emphasize the need for States to ensure that our discourse in the Council is based on facts, by observing due diligence in assessing the credibility of sources. We have asked the European Union and EU States to be more circumspect in engaging and enabling non-state actors in the Philippines to enjoy influence while they carry out acts of terror and commit crimes on the ground.

The Philippines maintains a spirit of open and constructive engagement with all parties, on exchange of information and on domestic accountability mechanisms that are well in place.

We welcomed the openness of the OHCHR to engage with the Philippines in good faith to rectify the figures and address concerns on deaths relating to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs. We commit to continue this engagement with the OHCHR to address gaps in data and other concerns case by case.

Among current efforts are:

  1. Improvement of the reparations mechanism in cases of unjust imprisonment or detention as well as for victims of violent crimes under Republic Act No. 7309 as well as for cases of Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances under what is considered a landmark law for being the first of its kind in Asia.
  2. Updating of operational guidelines of Administrative Order No. 35 in line with recommendations made by the International Labor Organization, and with support from the European Union Governance in Justice Program. The aim is to strengthen this inter-agency cooperative mechanism for defined cases of extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave violations of the right to life, liberty and security of persons.
  3. Multi-stakeholder consultations on the creation of a human rights observatory to address cases concerning human rights defenders and others not falling within the scope of AO 35. This is to be done also with support from the EU GO Just program.
  4. Completion of a comprehensive inventory of cases involving deaths related to the government’s campaign against illegal drugs filed before prosecution offices.

We condemn acts of intimidation and reprisal by Governments and non-state actors, remaining firm in preserving and protecting the vibrancy of our democracy and civil society space.

We are open to engaging all parties in good faith to address all claims and allegations of intimidation and reprisals, case-by-case, but only on the basis of facts.

Thank you, Madame Vice President.