The United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland has voted to pass a resolution on Friday that green lights a comprehensive examination of the human rights situation in the Philippines.
Despite the Duterte administration’s opposition to such probe – 18 countries voted yes, 14, opposed including China, while 15 others abstained.
Meanwhile, several human rights defenders, many of them came all the way from the Philippines gathered at the UN headquarters in New York to show their support for the Iceland-led resolution.
“The human rights situation in our country has not improved, just today may pinatay namang kababayan natin, human rights workers in Bukidnon alone, recently the strikes ng workers ay violently na nadisperse so,” said Beverly Longid.
Amnesty International recently published a new report called They Just Kill – which revealed that the alleged extrajudicial killings under President Duterte’s war on drugs persist.
Filipino human rights defenders believe that the new UN probe will only prove what has already been reported many times over.
“Pinapatunayan lang na what is happening on the ground ay totoo, at dapat sanang pakinggan at bigyan pansin ng mga international bodies na may kinalaman sa human rights,” says Lorelei Covero.
The Philippine delegation was at the New York UN headquarters on Thursday to lobby, and member states of the UNHRC in New York delivered the resolution passing vote.
“The international pressure could really be important in pushing further the agenda of stopping these extra-judicial killings.”
The human rights defenders were also demanding freedom for all political prisoners in the Philippines.”
“The issue of political prisoners have been going on in the Philippines, but during the Duterte regime there have been more,” said Aaron Ceradoy.
These human rights defenders believe that this resolution would be a big step in holding the Duterte administration accountable for its alleged extrajudicial executions, illegal detention of political opponents and other human rights violations.