39 members want the Philippines to stop war on illegal drugs.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This world is full of people who have the good of the whole world at heart. In fact, vested interests often manipulate them to make life uncomfortable for others.
Undoubtedly, they do have relevance in this harsh world and their usefulness is beyond doubt. But, they sometimes fail to grasp the intricacies of the situation. Being outsiders, the emotions and logic involved are sometimes too complex to understand. It needs a local person to know the true impact and reasons for all that is transpiring.
Now, United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) may have to intervene in the Philippines. It should step in and stop the mayhem due to Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.
It is true that thousands have died at the hands of security forces and the vigilantes. But, blaming the President for all ills is a bit far-fetched. You can’t overlook the popular sentiments that catapulted Duterte to a landslide victory.
The petition to the UNHRC requests that the UN body should exercise all its means to end the bloodshed. Furthermore, 39 countries supported the motion voicing their concerns over the increasing number of drug-related deaths in the country.
New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged UNHRC to conduct an international probe and stop the killings. It also accused the Philippines of unwillingness to take appropriate action to stop this murderous campaign.
This statement came from John Fisher Director of Geneva chapter of HRW. In effect, HRW demanded an in-depth investigation and fixing of responsibility and accountability.
As for the members of the UN, Iceland representing 39 nations voiced serious concern at the large-scale extrajudicial killings. They expressed surprise at the impunity exhibited in killing people.
They wanted the government of the Philippines to come forward and ensure that the killings stop immediately. Moreover, they should initiate investigations in each extrajudicial death so that there was a guarantee of accountability.
The Philippines must take immediate measures to uphold the rule of law and restoration of democratic practices. The statement was a natural reaction of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines.
The review, submitted by UNHRC recently, prompted these 39 countries to sign the statement urging the Philippines to follow some recommendations.
What is remarkable is that the government of Philippines did accept 103 of the 257 recommendations forwarded by the states.
The countries issued statement days after the UNHRC concluded its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines, wherein state parties forwarded a total of 257 recommendations, only 103 of which the Philippine government accepted.
This is the point where controversy got its chance. The ego and biases of the spectator nations came to the fore. While some would accept 103 implementations as a satisfactory level, countries like Ghana were not accommodating.
Ghana insisted that Agnes Callamard visit the country and conduct an independent probe without interference and conditions. That would ensure impartiality, they said.
Ghana doesn’t know that the past skirmishes and unsubstantiated allegations in the recent past showed that she cannot be termed impartial anymore.
However, the Philippines denying the insinuations, asserted that the deaths were the result of genuine and unbiased law enforcement operations. Surprisingly, the government of Philippines claimed that UNHRC had accepted their Outcome Report without any reservationists.
Hence, Ernesto Abella had to comment that all countries had differences of opinion. He rejected the contention that a culture of impunity prevailed in the Philippines.
Abella also revealed that investigations into extrajudicial killings were continuing in quite a few cases where doubts existed.
Many human rights violations by government agencies and agents were underway as per constitutional provisions. We will provide protection to all our people from injustice and crime, Abella asserted.
However, we will continue to use all our powers to fight drugs, corruption and crime to provide our future generations with a clean public life.
We need all the help but we cannot accept outsiders dictating to us on how to run our country.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson.
Friday, September 29, 2017