Press Release
July 12, 2019

Drilon tells gov't to cooperate with UN probe on PH drug war

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon asked the government to keep an open mind and display statesmanship amidst the adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) of a resolution seeking a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the country.

"Let project statesmanship and maturity as a country. Let's keep an open mind, not shut doors to international bodies objectively looking into the issue," Drilon told the government.

"We will rise to the challenge and the challenge is to improve the human rights situation in the country," he said.

Instead of imputing malice on a legitimate action performed by highly respected organizations such as the UNHRC, wherein the Philippines is among the founding members, Drilon said the government must be able to show strong resolve to address the issue.

"Let us show strong resolve to promote human rights in the country and put a stop to the killing that we have seen in the past three years due to the country's anti-drug war." Drilon said.

If everything is above-board, Drilon said the government has nothing to worry about, as he urges authorities to cooperate with the investigation to be conducted by the UNHRC.

But to dismiss the resolution as mere interference or politically motivated will not help the country, Drilon stressed.

"I do not think that is the proper approach or if it can help salvage the country's reputation in the international community, so to speak, insofar as the issue of human rights is concerned," Drilon said.

"We should allow the investigation to take place. The government must cooperate. We cannot simply ignore it, because we are part of it and the government is legally and constitutionally mandated to honor our treaty obligations," Drilon said.

"In today's world, human right knows no boundaries. That is why the Philippines is a party to a number of international treaties promoting human rights," Drilon said. The Philippines is a signatory to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, Human Rights.

The minority leader also welcomed the Iceland-initiated resolution, which the council approved by a vote of 18 to 14 during its 41stregular session in Geneva, Switzerland on July 11. The resolution calls on the Philippines government to cooperate with UN human rights investigation as its expresses concern about the human rights condition in the country.

"We thank those 18 sovereign nations that give value to each individual life and profoundly expressed sincere concerns about the human rights situation in the country," Drilon said.

"It gives light and hope to the families, relatives and friends of those innocent people, particularly children, who died in the name of drug war. It sends the right signal that they are not alone in the fight for justice," he added.

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