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Photo by Leonard J Matthews used under CC license.

The Association for Progressive Communications and the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), a non-governmental organisation based in the Philippines, would like to call the attention of the Human Rights Council (HRC) to concerns relating to the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) during the 27th session of the Working Group on the UPR. APC and FMA welcome the participation of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) in the UPR despite an earlier attempt to defer from the process.

While we also welcome member states’ recommendations on extrajudicial killings (EJKs), the death penalty and the minimum age of criminal responsibility, we note that many pressing human rights issues in the Philippines were still left unaddressed. Moreover, the National Report as well as the statement delivered by the GPH, represented by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, failed to portray an accurate picture of the current state of human rights in the country.

The National Report submitted by the GPH said that the government is committed to “promote, protect and fulfill the rights of our citizens, especially the poor, the marginalised and the vulnerable, and social justice shall be pursued, even as the rule of law shall prevail at all times.” The report also states, “Human rights must work to uplift human dignity.” Ironically, these statements are negated by the current situation in the country.