PH’s victory at UN Human Rights’ review is ‘fake news’ – De Lima


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Senator Leila M. de Lima has labelled Malacañang’s statement congratulating itself and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Caeyetano for the country’s supposed excellent performance at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) as “fake news.”

De Lima, a known human rights defender, said the UNHRC’s adoption of the Philippines’ UPR does not immediately merit a success on the part of the Duterte administration.

“Malacañang says proof of the world body’s acclamation of the Philippine government’s human rights record is the former’s adoption of the Philippine government’s report. This is of course a lot of bull crap,” she said in a Dispatch from Crame No. 170.

“The true measure of the Philippines’ performance in the UPR is the nature of the questions, comments, and recommendations thrown at the Philippine country report and the actions taken on these. These are all included in the ‘outcome report’ prepared by a troika of three rapporteur States, the UPR Working Group consisting of 47 members of the UNHRC, the Philippines, and the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR),” she added.

De Lima explained the “outcome report” provides a summary of the actual discussions in the UPR, which consists of the questions, comments and recommendations made by States on the Philippines. This is the report “adopted” in the plenary session of the UNHRC, and not the Philippine country report, she pointed out.

Malacañang recently welcomed UNHRC’s supposed final adoption of the third Philippine UPR, which it believes recognizes the government’s respect for human dignity amid the murderous war on drugs.

Cayetano, who was then in New York to attend the UN General Assembly, also lauded the supposed adoption of the Philippine report of its UPR during the UNHRC session in Geneva, Switzerland last week.

He issued the statement even as the country was on the receiving-end of criticisms for accepting only 103 of the 257 recommendations made by UN member-states during the dialogue held in May.

De Lima, a former chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, further explained that last May, 45 out of 47 states participating in the UPR had expressed concern over the spate of killings in Duterte’s drug war.

In its response, she noted, the Philippines ignored a total of 44 recommendations on n EJKs, adding how it also refused the recommendation to allow UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard to visit the country and conduct an independent probe.

The Senator from Bicol said UNHRC’s adoption of the Philippines’ UPR is a fabricated victory for the Duterte administration.

“With 257 recommendations, 44 of them on extra-judicial killings summarily ignored by the Philippine government, the ‘outcome report’ on the Philippines adopted by the UNHRC plenary is actually the world’s collective condemnation of the Duterte government’s human rights record,” she said.

“To spin it otherwise as a resounding victory for Duterte and Cayetano merely proves that Malacañang is now the No. 1 leading source of fake news in the country. Ang galing talaga nila sa propaganda,” she added. A staunch critic of the administration’s war on drugs, De Lima was arrested in February based on trumped-up charges that have no basis but the perjured testimonies of convicted felons.

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