Philippines slams UN rights chief for remarks

11 March, 2018, 01:08 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Philippines to Declare 600 Alleged Communists 'Terrorists'?

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein hit out at the president after a United Nations human rights investigator was included on a list of more than 600 people declared to be communist terrorists.

"I will reiterate, however, that such language directed against a democratically-elected head of a United Nations member-country is uncalled for and is of course an affront on the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines", he added.

Roque, who once described Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as may tama (not right in the head) and told Callamard she's welcome to swim in the polluted Pasig river, slammed Zeid's use of "harsh language".

"This is of course unacceptable for a special rapporteur acting on behalf of the worldwide community whose expertise is sought by the Human Rights Council to be treated in this way", Zeid said. "I'm very tempted to respond in similar language but I have opted to restrain myself, opting not to respond in the same ad hominem used by the UN High Commissioner", Roque said.

"There is no reason whatsoever for such an unmeasured outburst directed against President Rodrigo Duterte and it should not be repeated", Cayetano said, adding Corpuz was included on the list because of her alleged ties to the Communist Party of the Philippines.

Carlos Conde, Philippines researcher with the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said the petition was "a virtual hit list".

"Instead of attacking the messenger, states and other stakeholders should engage and address the human rights concerns raised by mandate-holders", he said in Geneva.

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Duterte's attacks against UN special rapporteurs can not go unanswered and the UN Human Rights Council must take a position, Zeid said.

"And I hope and expect the Human Rights Council to respond accordingly", he added. "Therefore, the government of the Philippines has a duty under the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders to guarantee her right to promote and to strive for the realisation of human rights". However, he said that the problem has always been Callamard. But what we can not forgive is Callamard, coming to the Philippines uninvited and made her conclusions as if she investigated,"Roque said".

According to Mr Zeid, Ms Corpuz believes that she has been targeted because of her comments on the attacks and killings of indigenous people in Mindanao.

"My reply to His Excellency, the Prince of Jordan, is it's a two-way street".

The list of alleged terrorists comes after the president signed a proclamation that the Communist party of the Philippines (CPP), and its armed wing, the New People's Army, should be classed as terrorist groups.

According to The Independent, Philippine national Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, a United Nations special rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, was mentioned in a list of alleged communist guerillas that was recently submitted to a Manila court.

Earlier, Michel Forst, the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, and Catalina Devandas Aguilar, chairperson of the Coordination Committee of the Special Procedures, issued a statement condemning Tauli-Corpuz's inclusion in the list. This move, therefore, only reinforces the classification that the CPP-NPA is a terrorist group,"Roque said Saturday afternoon".



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