Rights group Karapatan welcomed the statement of 31 experts on June 26 calling on the UN Human Rights Commission to “establish an on-the-ground international investigation into the human rights situation in the Philippines.”
“This statement on the Philippines of an unprecedented number of UN Special Rapporteurs, Independent Experts and Working Groups who are calling for independent investigation and accountability sends a strong message to the Philippine government – that it cannot circumvent its obligations by dismissing findings of independent bodies as ‘faulty’ or ‘biased’ when it suits its interest of evading accountability,” read a statement from Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.
The statement of the UN experts was released days before the 44th UN HRC session on June 30, when UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is expected to deliver her report on the human rights situation in the Philippines.
Karapatan particularly noted the findings of the High Commissioner on the implementation of Memorandum Order 32 which has increased militarization and with far-reaching impact on the rights of the farmers and indigenous peoples, in particular.
Bachelet, in her report, recommended the rescinding of Memorandum Order 32.
“Despite the findings and recommendations of the High Commissioner and numerous calls for justice at the domestic and international levels, killings of human rights defenders in areas covered by Memorandum Order 32 such as in Negros and Bicol continue,” Palabay said.