On the observance of the International Human Rights Day, Malacañang promised a “life with higher dignity” for poor, saying the best way to uphold human rights is to uplift the underprivileged Filipinos out of poverty.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Duterte administration works hard to promote the best interest of every Filipino, especially the poor, the marginalized, and most vulnerable, as its main concern.
He also named women and children in crises situations, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, older persons, people and communities displaced by natural and human-induced calamities as the marginalized and most vulnerable sectors.
“The best way to do this is to ensure government efficiency and effectiveness that will translate to every Filipino getting a fighting chance to overcome poverty, to uplift one’s status in society and to live a life with higher dignity,” Roque said.
“That direction is what inspires the government’s compliance with its human rights obligations. As a Nobel Peace Prize winner once said, ‘poverty is the absence of human rights,’” he added, quoting Muhammad Yunus.
Roque also said the Philippines, as an “active member” of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) respects human rights as a State policy enshrined in 1987 Constitution.
He added the government should strive to bestow upon every Filipino an “equal share in the nation’s progress.”
“And we are pleased that this direction has been accepted by no less than the highest peer review body in the world on all matters of human rights, which is the UNHRC, when it unanimously accepted and commended the Outcome Report on the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) this year,” Roque said.
Earlier, Malacañang renewed its adherence to the rule of law and their commitment in the protection of human rights amidst criticisms over the administration’s bloody crackdown against illegal drugs.
“We reiterate that our adherence to the rule of law remains as firm as ever, as is our commitment to the protection of human rights. The government is investigating allegations of so-called extrajudicial killings, including homicide cases with drug-related motives,” Roque said.
Thousands of drug suspects have been killed in these anti-drug operations since the government started its campaign.
Results of the June Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey suggested that three in every five Filipinos, or 60 percent, believe that only poor are killed in the campaign against illegal drugs.