[Statement] Justice and accountability are non-negotiable

#HumanRights #Justice and #accountability are non-negotiable

We are extremely disappointed with Human Rights Council Resolution #45 as it is a collective failure and it falls short of our expectation of an international, independent investigation into the gross violations of human rights in the country.

The bloodbath continues even under the different modes of quarantine during the current Covid-19 pandemic. There is no let-up in the harassment, red-tagging, arrests and extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders and suspected drug dependents.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) correctly noted in its report to the United Nations Human Rights Council last year that the killings appear to be “systematic and widespread” with no accountability taking place.

Impunity reigns as perpetrators are able to commit extrajudicial killings even in the most severe of lockdowns from March to June of 2020.
The adverse international reactions to the violations happening in the Philippines have spurred the Philippine government to conduct a diplomatic and public relations campaign to thwart any initiative at an international independent investigation.

The Duterte administration feigns innocence with the extrajudicial killings after publicly encouraging and abetting its widespread commission for more than three years.

The Philippine government is remiss in its obligations to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. Its failure to protect its citizens from killers with more than 30,000 EJKs speaks eloquently of its non-commitment to human rights.

Sadly, accountability and justice have been reduced to technical cooperation and capacity building.

We take note of the continuing monitoring of government compliance to its human rights obligations. We will continue to engage with the UN mechanisms and other avenues to seek redress for the continuing bloodbath in the country.

Justice and accountability are non-negotiable.

Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP) Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) Franciscans International (FI), Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund (SCLF) Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)

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