Oral statement for the outcome of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines


Mr. President,

FIDH and Amnesty International condemn the Philippine government’s negative response to key recommendations it received during the country’s third UPR. The government did not accept any of the 44 recommendations related to extrajudicial executions, none of the 23 recommendations calling for the Philippines to refrain from reinstating the death penalty, and none of the 13 recommendations to protect human rights defenders and journalists.

The ongoing assault on human rights, underscored by President Duterte’s so-called ‘war on drugs’ and his violent rhetoric, raises serious doubts over the government’s commitment to the protection of human rights and in particular its disregard for the right to life. It is regrettable that the Philippine government used the UPR as a platform to justify its lethal anti-drug policies, which overwhelmingly targets poor and marginalized communities and to hide the magnitude of the number of people killed – which have now reached many thousand, and up to 12,000, according to some estimates, since President Duterte took office on 30 June 2016.

We also find deeply troubling the reports of lethal attacks, carried out on peace activists, human rights defenders, and journalists in the country. We condemn President Duterte’s numerous derogatory statements and threats against human rights defenders, including the National Commission on Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. These statements have created an increasingly hostile environment for human rights defenders in the country.

Given the government’s apparent unwillingness to conduct investigations into cases of extrajudicial executions, we urge the UN Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution that establishes an international, independent, commission of investigation into such cases.

Thank you.

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