Philippines: Accountability and investigative measures sorely needed (UN Statement)
The ICJ today called, before the UN Human Rights Council for domestic and international accountability and investigative measures for human rights violations in the Philippines.
The statement, that could not be delivered due to limited time given to NGOs, reads as follows:
We share the OHCHR’s observation that in the Philippines there are insufficient legal means and mechanisms to ensure accountability and provide redress for victims of human rights violations and abuse. There has been little accountability for criminal conduct by State agents and armed groups extending over many years, including torture and ill-treatment, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and violence against HRDs.
The ICJ condemns the government’s refusal to cooperate with the ICC, and failure to commence transparent domestic investigation and prosecution of human rights violations.
The harassment of HRDs and government critics, red-tagging, repression of free expression, systemic disinformation, and threats of reprisals against those who freely express their opinions have further decreased civic space. Women, children, indigenous people, older persons, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community experience cross cutting inequities.
The ICJ thus endorses all the OHCHR’s recommendations, particularly the call for domestic and international investigative and accountability measures. The ICJ likewise supports the call for the OHCHR to strengthen its presence in the Philippines and for the continued monitoring of the human rights situation in the country.
Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949