LILAK Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights is seeing a ray of hope that the international community sees through the Philippine Government’s lies whitewashing the country’s human rights situation. During the 41st Universal Periodic Review held at the UN Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, member states raised pressing human rights issues urging the new Philippine government to take concrete actions on the widespread and systematic human rights violations against human rights defenders, indigenous peoples, and women perpetrated by the administration of Rodrigo Duterte.
Judy Pasimio, the Overall Coordinator of LILAK and part of the Philippine delegation of In Defense of Human Rights Advocates (IDEFEND) in Geneva, is seeing a ray of hope as the international community continues to shed light on the Philippine situation in the United Nations and push for accountability perpetrated by the Duterte administration.
“The international community knows too well that the Philippine human rights situation has worsened and threats to civil liberties and human rights continue. They see through the lies of the Philippine government propaganda team in Geneva led by DOJ Secretary Remulla,” said Pasimio.
Global Witness reports that the Philippines remains to be one of the countries with the highest number of killings and that these killings are caused by land and resource conflicts. Among those who have been killed, 40% belong to IP communities and land rights defenders. And that 1 in every 10 killed is women, mostly indigenous. In the Philippines, mining is one of the top killers.
“We welcome the recommendation of Croatia to review the Philippine Mining Act of 1995. We said then, and we say it again – mining kills. It kills our forests, it kills our waters, it kills our food security, and kills land rights defenders. There is blood in the hands of mining corporations. But there is also blood in the hands of the government who allows mining, which connives with the companies to make profit out of our land, our resources,” said Pasimio.
Pasimio added, “We further welcome the recommendations of other member states that focus on the protection of rights of indigenous peoples, for the government to ensure free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), especially in mining projects; full and meaningful engagement of IPs, implement disaster risk reduction and management to protect IP communities, These countries include Denmark, Costa Rica, Cambodia, and Sweden.”
Jayneca Reyes, of LILAK, who was also in Geneva, stressed that a lot of member states are pushing forward recommendations for stronger mechanisms to address gender-based violence, red-tagging of human rights defenders, land and environmental activists, and journalists.
“DOJ Secretary Remulla belying red-tagging is far-fetched. The war of narratives and the demonization of human rights defenders under the current Marcos Jr. administration continues. We will persist to battle the lies with truth,” Reyes ended.
An overwhelming 107 delegations made statements during the interactive dialogue and 289 recommendations were forwarded for review during the session.
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