ucanews.com reporter, Manila
Updated: July 15, 2019 09:11 AM GMT
Families of Philippine drug war victims call for an independent investigation into the killings in the Philippines during a demonstration in Manila on July 9. (Photo by Basilio Sepe)
Church leaders in Manila have called on the Philippine government to respect a U.N. Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to investigate alleged human rights abuses.A Catholic bishop said that if the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has nothing to hide, then it should allow the rights body to come and look into the situation."If the government considers itself above board in its drug war, it should allow itself to be investigated by an outside entity," Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said. "If it does not, it has something dirty to hide." Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon said the government "must respect or obey the U.N. resolution," adding that the Philippines has become "notorious for extrajudicial killings.""There are thousands of testimonies regarding deaths without the benefit of judicial process," he said.The Philippines hinted at a possible withdrawal from the UNHRC following adoption of the resolution to look into Duterte's war on drugs.The council adopted the resolution initiated by Iceland on July 11 by a vote of 18 countries in favor and 14 against, with 15 abstentions."Iceland took the place [in the UNHRC] of the [United States] after it withdrew from the Human Rights Council. I think we need to follow America more," said Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on his Twitter account.The US withdrew from the UNHRC in June 2018 in protest against what it perceived as entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers to become members.Last year the Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute, the treaty that set up the International Criminal Court.
….As we enter the first months of 2022, we are asking readers like you to help us keep UCA News free.
For the last 40 years, UCA News has remained the most trusted and independent Catholic news and information service from Asia. Every week, we publish nearly 100 news reports, feature stories, commentaries, podcasts and video broadcasts that are exclusive and in-depth, and developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes.
Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to – South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.
And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters who cover 23 countries in south, southeast, and east Asia. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don’t have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.
With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.