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Philippine UPR Watch to the Philippine Government: Spreading Lies at the United Nations

By Philippine UPR Watch
September 20, 2012

GENEVA, Switzerland  –  The Philippine UPR Watch and other Human Rights NGO's slammed the glowing report and statement of the Philippine Government during the consideration of the working Group Report on the Philippines Universal Periodic Review at the 21st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council which runs September 10-28, 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland.

In her oral intervention, Marie Hilao Enriquez Chair of KARAPATAN and Co-Head of Delegation of the UPR Watch Philippines said that “extra-judicial executions, disappearances, other human rights violations and impunity persist under the so called democracy and even under the so called righteous path taken by the new President Noynoy Aquino.” She said that under the two-year administration of Aquino, KARAPATAN has documented 99 victims of extra-judicial executions. Enriquez delivered her statement on behalf of the Civicus World Alliance for Citizen Participation.

"The Philippine Government has shamelessly spread lies here at the United Nations. Just last week, Genesis Ambason, a leader of the Matigsalog tribe in Agusan del Sur, was brutally killed by paramilitary groups under the command of the Philippine Military,” Hilao-Enriquez’s reaction to the statement of the Philippine government delegation head, H.E. Teofilo S. Pilando, Deputy Executive Secretary Vice Minister of the Office of the President, who said that the Aquino government remains committed to human rights and has, in fact, accepted 62 recommendations by the UN Member States, including an end to end extra-judicial executions.

In a separate oral intervention, Dr. Rommel Linatoc of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), a member of the Philippine UPR Watch delegation, said, “the Philippine Report was very selective in its presentation of data. It intentionally left out the essential issues such as the almost zero conviction rate of perpetrators of human rights abuses; the failure of the government to press charges and arrest suspects and the continuing effects of the the Oplan Bayanihan a counterinsurgency program against the Filipino people.” Dr. Linatoc read a joint statement of the World Council of Churches - Churches Commission on International Affairs, the United Methodist Church Global Board Global Ministry and the Indian Council of South America (CISA).

On May 29, 2012, the Philippines was one of the first 16 countries examined under the Universal Periodic Review; at that time, 69 countries quizzed the Philippine Government on its human rights record and at least 22 countries expressed concern over the spate of extra-judicial killings in the country. The UPR is a mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council to review the human rights record of the UN Member States every four year.

Other human rights NGO’s like the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Save the Children International, Asian Legal Resource Center, Forum Asia and others also raised deep concern about the human rights situation in the Philippines.

The members of the Philippine UPR Watch for the 21st session of the Human Rights Council are: Ms. Marie Hilao Enriquez of Karapatan; Dr. Rommel Linatoc of the NCCP; Ms. Melona Daclan of Defend Job Philippines; Mr. Michael Yoshii of the United Methodist Church of California-Nevada, USA and Ms. Maribel Mapanao of the International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICCHRP) in Europe.