Palace welcomes UN’s technical assistance to PH; vows full cooperation

Published October 8, 2020, 5:11 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang has welcomed the offer of technical assistance of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to the Philippines amid the alleged killings and human rights abuses in the country under the administration of President Duterte.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after the UNHRC adopted on the last day of its 45th regular session the resolution on technical cooperation and capacity-building on human rights in the Philippines.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.

In his Thursday presser, Roque said Malacañang was thankful for the move of the UNHRC, saying the international body did the right thing.

“Tama po naman yung ginawa nilang resolusyon at nagpapasalamat po kami (They did the right thing by adopting that resolution and we thank them for that),” he said.

“‘Yan po ay nagpapakita na nagtitiwala pa rin ang UN Human Rights Council sa mga institusyon para mapanagot po ang mga lumalabag sa karapatang pantao ng ating mga kababayan (It shows that the UNHRC has faith in our institutions that hold violators of human rights accountable),” he added.

According to Roque, Malacañang will fully cooperate with the UNHRC because the latter finally heard what the Philippines was saying all this time.

“We will fully cooperate with the UN Human Rights System dahil ‘yan naman po ang gusto lang natin (because this is what we want),” he said.

“We’re not saying we’re perfect. Kaya nga, kung gusto ninyo, ‘wag niyo na kaming pulaan, tulungan niyo na lang kami (That’s why, if you want, help us instead of criticizing us),” he added.

“Ito pong (This) latest resolution… is very much appreciated,” he continued.

Welcome cooperation

According to the Palace official, the government has always welcomed cooperation especially on important issues like human rights.

“We always welcome cooperation. Ang ayaw lang po ng Presidente yung pula nang pula, wala namang solusyon (What the President doesn’t like is when someone makes criticisms but does not offer any solution),” Roque said.

“Sabihin po nila kung saan tayo nagkukulang at tulungan nila na mapagana pa ng mas efficient as sistema natin dito sa Pilipinas (Just tell us where we lack and help us make our system more efficient),” he added.

The resolution adopted by the UNHRC was introduced by the Philippines, India, Nepal, and non-member states like Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Thailand, and Turkey.

It offers technical assistance which includes support for investigative and accountability measures, data gathering on alleged police violations, engagement with civil society, a national mechanism for reporting and follow-up, counterterrorism legislation, and human rights-based approaches to drug control.

The resolution requests High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to report to the council the progress on the technical cooperation and capacity-building extended to the Philipines for the next two years.

In June, Bachelet flagged the “widespread and systematic” killings under Duterte’s drug war. She said these were “being carried out without due regard for the rule of law, due process, and the human rights of people who may be using or selling drugs.”