War on Drugs
The mother views the coffin of her 3 year old baby Kateleen Myca Ulpina, killed during a sting operation conducted by the police, is seen during her wake in Rodriguez, Rizal, east of Manila on July 5, 2019.
Noel CELIS / AFP
Philippine rights defenders support Iceland’s call for external probe into drug war killings
(Philstar.com) - July 6, 2019 - 5:56pm

MANILA, Philippines — A group of Philippine rights defenders on Saturday backed Iceland’s draft resolution that will prod the United Nations Human Rights Council to call for actions on the alleged human rights violations in the Philippines.

Iceland filed a two-page draft resolution Thursday, requesting UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to prepare a “comprehensive” written report on the human rights situation in the Philippines that would be presented during the council’s 44th session. UNHRC is now on its 41st session.

The draft resolution also calls on the Philippine government “to take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to carry out impartial investigations and to hold perpetrators accountable in accordance with international norms and standards on due process and the rule of law.”

In a statement, Philippines UPR Watch said Iceland’s move was “a highly significant international initiative.”

“It is a big step in stride with other parallel measures and contemporaneous efforts that merits the full support of an intergovernmental body that is mandated to ensure the promotion, protection and respect for human rights at the global level,” PH UPR Watch said.

“Despite desperate efforts of the Duterte administration to package its violations as worthy of praise and emulation, the evolution of the firm resolution emphasized the futility of attempts to evade accountability on the human rights violations committed by State actors,” it added.

According to a Reuters report, more than two dozen countries—mainly European states—backed the draft resolution.

The 47-member council is expected to vote on the resolution before its three-week session ends on July 12. The Philippines is a member of the Human Rights Council.

Last year, Iceland also called on the Philippines and its investigators to probe without conditions the killings linked to the government’s anti-narcotics campaign. The statement was signed by 37 countries.

In 2017, 39 countries led by Iceland slammed what it dubbed as “culture of impunity” in the Philippines.

Bachelet, in her opening statement at the 41st session of the council last June 24, said the “extraordinarily high number of deaths” and “persistent reports of extrajudicial killings” in the drug war continue in the Philippines.

She said she also welcomes the call of UN special rapporteurs for the Human Rights Council to take action on what they called a sharp deterioration of human rights in the Philippines. — With a report from Gaea Katreena Cabico

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