Sunday, March 6, 2011

UN to receive Philippine human rights situation report | Sun.Star

UN to receive Philippine human rights situation report | Sun.Star

A GROUP of human rights advocates will visit the Switzerland-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) next week to reveal the ongoing rights violations under the Aquino administration.
Represented by the Ecumenical Voice for Peace and Human Rights in the Philippines (Ecumenical Voice), the seven-man delegation will also notify the council of cases of threats and attacks against human rights defenders, internally displaced persons, among others.
“The continuing violation of the rights of the Filipino people by state agents is a reason for us to be alarmed,” Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said in a statement.
“Until now, many of the recommendations of former UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Prof. Philip Alston have not and are not being implemented, and impunity still prevails in the country,” she added.
Since President Benigno Aquino III’s ascent to power last year, Karapatan has documented 40 victims of extrajudicial killings.

This includes the case of renowned botanist Leonard Co and two of his companions who were allegedly slain by military men in a forest in Kananga, Leyte after being suspected as rebels.
A panel formed by Justice Secretary Leila De Lima cleared the military of any culpability over the incident which happened last November 2010.
In an earlier interview, President Aquino denied that his government is sitting idly on human rights violations as he directed De Lima to investigate the spate of unabated killings of activists, journalists, and lawyers in the country.
“This is a government that is operating under a set of laws, that we follow the laws of the land. If we trample upon the rights of others in effect we will set the conditions for having more and more dissatisfaction with the system that would fuel an insurgency," he said.
One of the “Morong 43” health workers illegally arrested and detained in February last year, Dr. Merry Mia Clamor, will also join the delegation to file a complaint to the UN Special Rapporteur on torture.
She will also give an oral intervention about her ordeal before the Rights Council’s 16th session from March 5 to 11. In June last year, her husband Jigs Clamor of Karapatan also appealed to the Council in its 14th Session.
The UNHRC is an inter-governmental body within the UN system made up of 47 States responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.
The Council was created by the UN General Assembly on 15 March 2006 with the main purpose of addressing human rights violations and making appropriate recommendations. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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