Karapatan to President Marcos: Cease deceptive practices

Mark Ernest Villeza - The Philippine Star
Karapatan to President Marcos: Cease deceptive practices
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr
Bongbong Marcos / Facebook Page

MANILA, Philippines — Rights group Karapatan yesterday urged the Marcos administration to cease deceptive practices regarding the human rights situation in the country.

In a statement, Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay recalled the Department of Foreign Affairs statement highlighting the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion’s visit as a display of the government’s “open, sustained and sincere cooperation.”

“The Philippine government should stop making these events, like Ms. Irene Khan’s visit to the country, as window dressing before the international community,” she said.

The group pointed out that extrajudicial killings in the drug war and counterinsurgency efforts continue, with the Anti-Terrorism Law being used to suppress dissent.

The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-ELCAC is accused of intensifying its terror-tagging activities and political prisoners are facing baseless charges due to the government’s intolerance of political beliefs, Karapatan added.

Palabay also recalled unaddressed recommendations from previous UN special rapporteurs’ visits and expressed concern about the administration’s state of denial regarding rights violations.

This includes recommendations made in a 2008 report by Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions.

Alston’s report highlighted the government’s responsibility in targeted killings of political activists, emphasizing the need for concrete actions to address violations.

Ian Fry, UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change, also called for the abolition of NTF-ELCAC and rescinding the Anti-Terrorism Law after his visit in November 2023.

Karapatan, along with other groups, submitted reports to Khan showcasing the state of press freedom and the right to express in the Philippines, launching the “#FightToExpress” campaign to address violations against journalists, activists and the people.

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