Malacañang on Saturday, September 23, welcomed the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) final and unanimous adoption of the third Philippine Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Report, which reaffirms the government’s commitment to human rights protection.
In a statement aired over Radyo Pilipinas, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the unanimous adoption of the UPR Report in Geneva signifies the UN’s recognition of the country’s human rights record under the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
“This likewise reaffirms our respect for the dignity of the Filipino people and the protection of the Filipino family as we strive for a better life in a society free of illegal drugs and other crimes,” Abella said.
The Palace official further commended Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano and all the members of the Philippine government UPR team for successfully presenting the country’s human rights policies to the international community.
“We congratulate the efforts of Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary (DFA) Alan Peter Cayetano, together with Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Undersecretary Severo Catura of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights, and the rest of the members of the Philippine government UPR team, Philippine Ambassador to the UN Evan Garcia, and the team at the Philippine Mission to the UN in Geneva for their tireless efforts in explaining to the world our policies, practices, commitments and obligations in the area of human rights,” Abella said.
Meanwhile, the Palace also welcomed the recent findings of the Pew Research Center, an American think tank, which showed that the administration’s campaign against crime and illegal drugs continues to get unwavering support from the public.
The recent survey showed that 86 percent of Filipinos have a favorable view of President Duterte, while 78 percent of Filipinos approve of his handling of the illegal drugs issue.
The survey also revealed that 62 percent of Filipinos believe that the government is making progress in its campaign against illegal drugs.
“The campaign against illegal drugs, as the President said, would be relentless until the drug apparatus is dismantled, the last drug pusher is out of the streets, and the last drug trafficker behind bars,” Abella asserted.
Palace cites Cabinet members’ right to privacy
In another statement also aired over the radio station, Abella cited privacy and security issues why there had to be redactions on items declared by Cabinet officials in their Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).
“While we uphold the principle of transparency and accountability in public service, those working in the government, such as members of the Cabinet, still have the right to privacy,” the Palace official noted.
He added that the sensitive personal information and other data contained in the officials’ SALNs could be used to harass them or commit fraud.
“We therefore consider security concerns as valid issues,” he stressed.
Abella explained that with the Data Privacy Act in full force and effectivity this year, data protection officers are obliged to redact items in SALNs to protect the right to privacy of state workers, including cabinet members.
He added that this is consistent with global data protection regulations. ###PND