PH envoy to UN calls for an end to ‘weaponization and politicization of human rights’

Published October 18, 2020, 4:42 PM

by Roy Mabasa

The Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York has called for an end to the “weaponization and politicization” of human rights as it seeks to ensure a safe and secure environment for every Filipino that is “free from crime and evil of illegal drugs.”

“We reiterate our call to stop the weaponization and politicization of human rights. Instead, we call for constructive cooperation and genuine dialogue that brings a positive impact on human rights on the ground and the lives of our people,” Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Enrique Manalo said during his recent address at the Third Committee of the General Assembly.

Manalo highlighted the Philippines’ commitment to promote, protect, and fulfill the human rights of all persons as he underscored the importance of constructive multilateral cooperation and genuine dialogue toward the effective promotion and protection of human rights of all.

In the years since the Duterte administration came into power, several international and local human rights groups, including UN rapporteurs, have been critical of the reported human rights violations in the Philippines, specifically on the bloody “war-on-drugs” campaign that has left more than 6,000 suspected drug users and peddlers dead.

The Philippines also came under attack after the passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 in July, which many critics say is aimed at crushing legal dissent. 

“We stress that the State has the sovereign prerogative to undertake measures to address crime and terrorism, and to pass legislation to safeguard national interests in accordance with domestic processes and legal frameworks and as part of the State’s governance agenda,” Manalo said in his remarks. 

The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly began its work on Oct. 5 and is mandated to discuss social, humanitarian, and human rights issues. 

“The Philippines reaffirms its commitment to promote, protect, and fulfill the human rights of all persons. We seek to ensure a safe and secure environment where human rights and fundamental freedoms are enjoyed by every Filipino, free from crime and the evil of illegal drugs,” the Philippine envoy said.