Rights advocates ready to help UN probe

“We are ready to submit reports. We have all the fact sheets that you can think of, affidavits, and fact-finding reports. But it is best if they can speak to the victims and their relatives of rights abuses themselves.”

By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Human rights groups said they are willing to help the recently-adopted United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution calling for a probe on the dire rights situation in the Philippines.

“We are ready to submit reports. We have all the fact sheets that you can think of, affidavits, and fact-finding reports. But it is best if they can speak to the victims and their relatives of rights abuses themselves,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay in a press briefing today, June 12.

On June 11, eighteen members of the UNHRC voted in favor of conducting a probe on the rights abuses in the Philippines, including drug-related killings.

The process, Palabay said, may take a year and is set to start as soon as the commission issues a call for submission of information, to which they may submit reports. She said the UNHRC is expected to triangulate reports of human rights violations.

“Kapag gusto madaming paraan. At marami kaming paraan,” (If there’s a will, there’s a way. And we can think of many ways) she quipped.

She encouraged other groups, including the media, to submit their own reports of rights abuses.

Palabay said it is important that the UN be able to interview not just families of victims of rights abuses but also government officials, adding that “if they are not hiding anything, then they must show the books to prove that there is a vibrant judicial system in the country.”

The group added that no reprisals should arise against those who will participate in the probe. ()

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