News Release

Statement of Secretary Martin Andanar on OHCHR report on the Philippines’ alleged human rights violations and persistent impunity

We acknowledge the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (OHCHR) recognition of the positive changes and development on matters of human rights and social justice that the Duterte Administration has done in the Philippines, through its comprehensive report promulgated on June 4, 2020.

As we have previously and frequently affirmed in the past, we continue to reiterate that it has never been and will never be the Duterte Administration’s policy to undertake programs and measures at the expense of human rights, due process, and rule of law. This administration has always been for the promotion of positive changes in the life of every Filipino towards nation-building and progress for all. Furthermore, it aims to promote and uphold the due process, rule of law, and integrity that is present in all democratic institutions.

While doing so, it is within the duty of the Duterte Administration to uphold these laws against those who oppose and disobey it, regardless of the law offender’s political and ideological position. This administration will never condone any instances of impunity, as the government continues to advance the country’s public order, public safety and security, and public health, among others.

As a matter of fact, all government undertakings have observed due process in respect to the country’s constitution; hence, the high approval rating of Filipinos on President Duterte’s administration.

Following conclusive facts and statistics, provided as well by the OHCHR, the Duterte Administration has exercised due diligence; promoted media security; maintained and advanced freedom of speech and expression, and suppressed graft and corruption. It has also made a lot of headway in stifling the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country through its comprehensive approach in its anti-illegal drugs campaign. All these stated undertakings have provided tantamount benefits and progress towards societal development that no one is able to deny.

However, given that the OHCHR report contains faulty and inaccurate findings against the Duterte Administration along with flawed recommendations, the government will continue with its policies and undertakings that sincerely promotes human rights and protect lives.  Furthermore, we will continue to engage constructively with the OHCHR in providing facts and being transparent, in a manner that does not undermine our sovereignty and will promote mutual understanding and appreciation of President Duterte’s administration.