Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate and Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman lauded the adoption by the European Union Parliament of a resolution urging the United Nations to lead “an independent investigation into widespread killings in the Philippines” in connection with the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
“This is a very positive and welcome move coming as it is from one of the world’s major and influential parliaments. The Duterte administration should seriously heed the recommendation of the EU parliament, otherwise, it will only further its isolation internationally,” said Senior Deputy Minority Leader Zarate.
Lagman stated: “Neither braggadocio nor self-serving claims of sovereign independence can hide the dismal human rights record of the Duterte administration.”
“Human rights violations are global concerns which transcend sovereign boundaries justifying the call of lawmakers from the European Parliament for the United Nations to lead “an independent investigation into widespread killings in the Philippines related to President Duterte’s war on drugs,” said Zarate.
He added: “We have long been calling for an independent international probe on the spate of killings in the country like that of Bayan Muna coordinator Jory Porquia, Randall Echanis, and Zara Alvarez, as well as other human rights violations. This is a push in the right direction.”
Lagman, an independent House member, also cited the fate of human rights defenders Echanis and Alvarez, saying that they have been “summarily killed.”
“It is self-serving to bar an independent United Nations investigation, through the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), on the country’s worsening state of human rights on the pretext of sovereign immunity when the Philippines is a state party to many human rights conventions obligating signatories to promote and protect human rights,” the Bicolano solon said.
Human rights group Karapatan welcomed the resolution.
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said this resolution was a “strong statement from the international community that there would be consequences for these abuses.”
“The sham drug war has continued to kill the poor with impunity while human rights defenders face vilification, violence, and death for their work in exposing these human rights violations even in the middle of a pandemic,” she noted.
“Domestic mechanisms have been ineffective and outright failing in bringing the perpetrators of these gruesome crimes to justice,” Palabay said.
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