News Release

From the Presidential Spokesperson – On Karapatan filing EJK cases before the United Nations

We find it unfortunate that human rights group advocate Karapatan wrote two separate letters to the United Nations, specifically to UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard and UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders Michel Forst, in connection with alleged cases of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) in the Philippines.

The State – not international bodies like the United Nations – is duty-bound to investigate alleged cases of EJKs. Karapatan knows that it can avail of all domestic remedial mechanisms. The pillars of the criminal justice system in the Philippines remain to be effective and our legal processes are well-functioning. We therefore hope that they will file their complaints in the proper courts not before the so-called human rights rapporteurs who have politicized views of the Philippines’ campaign against illegal drugs.

Certainly, Karapatan knows the cases will not prosper there in the UN. It is the political mileage they are after in pursuit of their continued intent to malign this administration, through the special rapporteurs who only seem too willing to act based on fake political information.

Let Karapatan be reminded that there is an inter-agency committee, known as AO 35 Committee, created precisely for such purpose which is chaired by the Secretary of Justice.