PH Affirms Effective National Accountability Mechanisms in Geneva
GENEVA 04 March 2019 – The Philippines reaffirmed its strong national institutions and effective accountability mechanisms on human rights during a diplomatic briefing in Geneva on 20 February 2019, citing their role in the human-rights based social agenda of the government.
Philippine senior officials briefed more than 40 representatives of the delegations in Geneva and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on established mechanisms to address human rights violations in the law enforcement and military, and to ensure the safety and protection of the rights of media practitioners.
Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Evan P. Garcia underlined the country’s commitment, as a fifth-term member of the Human Rights Council from 2019 to 2021, to open and constructive dialogue and stressed the Philippines’ positive engagement with human rights mechanisms.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Senior Superintendent Omega Jireh Fidel reported on the gains of the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign, citing the progressive decline in the national crime rate. He underscored PNP’s strong human rights training and education programs and investigation and disciplinary mechanisms to address human rights violations by the police force.
Brigadier General Antonio G. Parlade Jr emphasized that the Armed Forces of the Philippines has in place fully functioning complaint and investigation mechanisms to address cases of human rights violations by its personnel. He cited that the CPP-NPA, through its front organizations, has been disseminating false information for decades to discredit the Philippine government before the international community, and has in the past attributed its atrocities to the military.
He provided information on the killings carried out by the terrorist organization all over the Philippines and the government’s efforts to identify victims, both combatants and non-combatants, including indigenous peoples killed and buried in mass graves by the CPP-NPA. He called on states and the UN to scrutinize their sources of information as the CPP-NPA and its front organizations have been operating on deceit to discredit the state and cover up its own human rights violations.
Philippine Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Jose Joel Sy Egco underlined that the Philippines continues to have one of the freest press in Asia. He affirmed the commitment of the Duterte administration to preserve the role of media in national development.
This is manifested in measures aimed at enhancing press freedom such as the Freedom of Information (Executive Order no. 2 of 2016) and the creation of a Presidential Task Force on Media Security (Administrative Order no. 1 of 2016), the latter being the first task force in Asia with a mandate to protect the life, liberty, and security of media workers. As a result, the Philippines improved its ranking in the Global Impunity Index in 2018. END
(From left) PCOO Undersecretary Jose Joel Sy Egco, AFP Brigadier General Brigadier General Antonio G. Parlade Jr., Permanent Representative to the United Nations Evan P. Garcia, Police Senior Superintendent Omega Jireh Fidel, NSA Deputy Director-General Vicente M. Agdamag, and PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy Partosa. (Geneva PM photo)