Remulla tells UN: Philippines strengthening HR mechanisms

Neil Jayson Servallos - The Philippine Star
Remulla tells UN: Philippines strengthening HR mechanisms
Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla in a press conference at the Department of Justice building in Manila on Wednesday (September 28, 2022).
STAR / Ernie Penaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Tuesday met with the United Nations acting high commissioner for human rights in Geneva, Switzerland to underscore the country’s approaches to human rights issues, amid a looming International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into the Philippines.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Remulla discussed with acting High Commissioner Nada Al-Nashif the Philippines’ ongoing efforts to boost local human rights mechanisms, including the government’s prison reform programs.

Yesterday, Remulla also spoke in a panel at the 51st Session of the Human Rights Council, where he highlighted the government’s rights and accountability mechanisms under the DOJ.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), however, accused the UN Human Rights Council of “dealing a serious blow” to the victims of human rights violations in the Philippines due to its failure to pass a resolution that ensures continued scrutiny of the domestic human rights situation of the country.

“The council will end its 51st Session in Geneva on Oct. 7, 2022, without taking action on the Philippines, despite dire expressions of concern from the UN human rights office, civil society organizations and families of victims of abuses,” the HRW said.

Remulla, who is among the leading panel members of the Philippine defense against the ICC investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed during the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, has been refusing to recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC.

“Families of victims had high hopes that the Human Rights Council would continue its scrutiny of rights abuses in the Philippines, but the council let them down,” said Geneva HRW director Lucy McKernan. “The human rights situation in the Philippines remains dire, but as the council drops the Philippines from its agenda, justice and accountability remain as elusive as ever.”




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