There’s no need for the “very biased” United Nations (UN) to investigate the human rights situation in the Philippines because the Duterte government won’t allow it, Malacañang Spokesman Harry Roque said today.
“Under the UN system, the state’s consent is required. And believe me, there’s no need to allow into the country [these] so-called experts with very fixed biases against the Philippines already,” Roque told CNN Philippines’ The Source.
“The fact that we are not allowing them in is a sovereign prerogative recognized by the UN system. There’s nothing that the UN can do if we do not allow rapporteurs into our country,” he added.
Roque, a human rights lawyer, said that because the world isn’t perfect, it’s just natural that there are people “whose rights may be violated.” He argued that there’s an “abundance of administrative remedies” where Filipinos can go to when they feel aggrieved, such as the courts, the police, the Ombudsman, and the Civil Service Commission.
“The true test of whether a state is in compliance with the human rights law is if they are able to give the victims adequate domestic remedies, which we have,” said Roque.
The spokesman’s statement comes shortly after President Rodrigo Duterte, in his debut speech before the UN General Assembly, vowed to protect Filipinos’ rights, while also blasting critics who were allegedly passing themselves off as human rights advocates to discredit his administration.
Duterte said that he is open to a “dialogue and constructive engagement” with the UN, provided that the international organization shows “objectivity, non-interference, [and] non-selectivity” when discussing issues with his administration.
In July last year, an Iceland-led resolution looking into the human rights situation in the Philippines was approved by the UN’s Human Rights Council, which ordered a report on Duterte’s controversial drug war. The resolution was backed by more than two dozen countries, who wanted the crisis addressed.
However, the Duterte government considered the resolution a personal attack, saying it was designed to humiliate the Philippines before the international community. Malacañang had said that the resolution was “offensive and insulting” to many Filipinos who were supposedly satisfied with Duterte’s governance. The government also denied that Duterte’s bloody drug war has resulted in the deaths of thousands of suspects.
This article, UN’s ‘biased’ experts don’t need to probe human rights case in PH, says Malacañang, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.