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HRC35 Oral Statement on the Extrajudicial Executions in the Philippines

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35th Regular Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Item 2: Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

Oral Statement Delivered by Rosanna Ocampo

On behalf of Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Tuesday, 06 June 2017

Mr President, FORUM-ASIA welcomes the report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. We echo her recommendations for States to investigate and prosecute extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, whether committed by State or non-State actors; support the safety and security of secondary victims, including their access to justice and reparations; and respect and protect human rights defenders. We share her concerns on extrajudicial killings in the Philippine government’s ‘war on drugs’, including killings by ‘unknown assailants’.

Since the current administration came into office on 30 June 2016, over 7,000 people have been killed in the Philippine government’s ‘war on drugs’. The government has failed to initiate independent investigations and hold perpetrators accountable. Recent statements by the Philippine President reaffirm that the government has no intention to end the killings or initiate investigations. He has also made concerning threats against human rights defenders.

We call on the government of the Philippines to

  • end and denounce all killings;
  • unconditionally grant unfettered access to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
  • cooperate with its national human rights institution (NHRI) in addressing accountability for unlawful deaths; and
  • end all threats against human rights defenders.

We call on the Human Rights Council to hold the Philippines accountable to standards expected of its members, including on cooperating with Special Procedures and other mechanisms. Lastly we call on the Council to take note of the persistent lack of domestic accountability and create an independent international investigation into all allegations of extrajudicial killings in the context of the Philippines’ ‘war on drugs’.

Thank you.

For a PDF version of this statement click here.