News Release

Statement of Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Justice Menardo Guevarra’s statement during the 44th United Nations Human Rights Council’s Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Philippines in Geneva, Switzerland

We laud Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra for conveying the message of the Duterte administration in reassuring the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the United Nations (UN), and the rest of the international community that the Philippines continues to abide by our commitment towards the protection and upholding of human rights in all of its endeavors.

The value and importance of everyone’s rights and freedom have always been embedded into the lives of each and every Filipino; thus, the Duterte government continues and will continue to promote and uphold its democratic ideals and legal institutions to ensure that all government responses to societal problems, especially on the prevalence of illegal drugs, are always within the law and done with respect to human rights, as we realize our collective progress and development.

Our vision to uplift the lives of millions of Filipinos is truly in line with our respect towards human rights. The Presidential Communications Operations Office fully supports the work of the review panel chaired by the Department of Justice, to re-evaluate investigations on law enforcement operations where deaths occurred. PCOO will assist the Review Panel in carrying out its mandate successfully and effectively, and with full transparency.

The PCOO has been actively involved in RealNumbersPH, which has been ensuring full transparency and accountability in the implementation of the anti-illegal drug campaign. This is in accordance with the directive of the President to carry out this campaign within the rule of law and with full public transparency.

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

The dialogue in Geneva affirmed that the member-states recognize the Philippines’ openness and transparency on the anti-illegal drug campaign and its positive engagement with the stakeholders in the country and the UN and international community. More importantly, 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.

As we intend to continue to promote these positive and constructive engagements with the OHCHR, the UN, and the international community towards the advancement of human rights of all Filipinos, we reiterate the need for due diligence in validating allegations brought forward by interest groups and parties. 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.