ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The government should put premium on documenting human rights abuses in Mindanao particularly cases of illegal arrests even as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) convened on Tuesday in Geneva for its universal periodic review conducted every four years.
Rosemarie R. Trajano, secretary-general of the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), told Business World in a telephone interview that the government lacks efforts in documenting human rights violations in the South.
Ms. Trajano said illegal arrests in Mindanao are rampant, "and government should look at these incidents." She said that this is the second time for the Philippines to participate in the periodic review, a process that involves a review of the human rights records of all 192 United Nations member states. It is considered an innovation of the Council based on equal treatment for all countries.
Ms. Trajano said that 71 countries have signified their intention to participate in the said review process noting the Commission on Human Rights will broadcast the Geneva discussion on the Internet.
For its part, Human Rights Watch, an international human rights group, said in a statement that UN member countries should call on the Philippine government to honor its commitments to ensure accountability for serious human rights abuses.
It claimed the administration of President Benigno S. C Aquino III has failed to take significant measures to prosecute members of the military and police implicated in killings, tortures and disappearances. -- Amilbahar S. Mawallil
Source: Business World