Robredo urges gov’t to allow UN body to probe alleged human rights violations

Published June 10, 2019, 1:57 PM

by Patrick Garcia


By Raymund Antonio

The government should allow the United Nations Human Rights Council investigation to disprove allegations of human rights violations in the Philippines, according to Vice President Leni Robredo.

Vice President Leni Robredo delivered the keynote speech at the launch of Marites Vitug's "Rock Solid: How the Philippines Won Its Maritime Case Against China," held at the Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday, July 24, 2018. In her remarks, VP Leni lauded Vitug for undertaking a journalistic account of the Philippine government's fight and eventual victory before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and joined anew the call of other senior officials for the administration to take advantage of this ruling. (Photo by OVP)
Vice President Leni Robredo

In contrast to Malacañang and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Robredo said the independent UN probe must be welcomed by the administration if it had nothing to hide.

“Kung totoo na walang human rights violations dito, bakit sasalungatin natin iyong imbestigasyon? Kasi ‘di ba, mas mabuti ngang pinapakita natin na wala tayong tinatago kaysa haharangin natin?” she asked.

(If it’s true if there are no human rights violations here, why would we oppose the investigation? Because it would be better we show that we are not hiding anything instead of blocking it, right?)

“Iyong sadya naman ng imbestigasyon para masigurong walang masamang nangyayari. Pero kapag hinaharang natin, hindi ba parang lalong nakakadagdag sa pagdududa,” she said.

(The purpose of the investigation is to ensure nothing bad is happening. But we block it, doesn’t that add to their suspicions.)

Last week, 11 special rapporteurs called for an international inquiry into the “staggering number of unlawful deaths and police killings in the context of the so-called war on drugs, as well as killings of human rights defenders.”

The HRC body is made up of 47 UN member states elected by the UN General Assembly.

Both the Palace and DFA, however, rejected their call to conduct a probe into the matter.

On the contrary, the Vice President and opposition leader had a different view about the probe, saying it had good intentions.

“Kasi kapag gumawa sila ng imbestigasyon at wala naman silang nakita, hindi ba parang affirmation iyon na tama iyong sinasabi natin (Because if they conduct an investigation and find nothing, it’s like an affirmation that our claims are true),” Robredo said.

“Kaya kung ako, papadaliin ko pa iyong trabaho nila. (That’s why if it was me, I would make their jobs easier),” she stressed.