News Release

Secretary Andanar urges due diligence in validating human rights abuse claims

METRO MANILA – The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) urged human rights watchdogs, including the United Nations (UN), to acknowledge the need for due diligence in validating allegations presented to them.

“Establishing the facts behind these claims is important. The government  takes seriously its duty to investigate all claims of human rights violations, and to prosecute perpetrators,” Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement which backed Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra’s address during the 44th United Nations Human Rights Council’s Enhanced Interactive Dialogue in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the same statement, he said that the Duterte administration will continue to promote and uphold its democratic ideals and legal institutions grounded within law and with respect towards human rights.

Secretary Andanar vowed to continue to support human rights, noting that the agency continues to involve the public though its RealNumbersPH, which has been ensuring full transparency and accountability while the government continues its anti-illegal drug campaign.

“PCOO shall continue to partner with our law enforcement agencies in implementing the President’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, to make our communities safer from the scourge of drugs and criminality and enable our people to fully enjoy their rights,” the PCOO chief said.

Currently, the inter-agency review panel, chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ), is conducting a judicious review of the 5,655 law enforcement operations where there were reported civilian fatalities.

The PCOO likewise expressed its support for the review body in carrying out its mandate with full transparency.

Secretary Andanar mentioned that the dialogue also affirmed that member-states recognize the Philippines’ openness and transparency in its initiatives, especially on the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“Other countries acknowledge that the government has strong institutions that do not permit the commission of sweeping and systemic human rights violations as alleged by some political actors,” he said.