Stakeholders concern about violation of human rights should congratulate President Rodrigo Duterte for recommending the Philippines to be the site for a world summit on human rights.
“We should call a summit. And I will volunteer to make the Philippines the venue,” Duterte said during a late night press conference in Vietnam where he attended the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit.
Hopefully, human rights advocates/agencies will consider this challenge and push through with it.
There is no question that the Philippines has issues on human rights violation and it has been magnified even more because of Duterte’s relentless and brutal campaign against illegal drugs.
But Duterte issued a caveat in that the summit should focus on human rights not just in the Philippines but also across the globe. He said that the conference must tackle how to “protect the human rights for all human race.”
I could not agree more with Duterte. For one who feels he is being criticized harshly and singled out as behind the extrajudicial killings in the country as a product of his deadly war on drugs, it is only right and just that human rights violation in other countries should be scrutinize as well for it is in comparison that one could judge if the Philippines tops the list or simply pales when analyzed.
Just because the Philippines is a struggling democratic country does not mean that developed countries supporting democracy and advocating human rights can just go hammer and tongs for what Duterte and his government believe that it is what is destroying the nation especially when abetted by unscrupulous and corrupt politicians?
Asked if he would request the United Nations to monitor his proposed human rights summit, Mr. Duterte said he prefers “a panel of lawyers” to do it.
“I’m more comfortable with a panel of lawyers. Because they will understand immediately the legal implications,” he noted, adding that he might also invite “experts in the science of medicine” and the “destruction of the human body.”
It is in this light that I say this to the people and world agencies speaking ill of the Philippines’ human rights record: Before sternly condemning the country led by Duterte on its alleged human rights violations, why don’t you research the human rights violation committed by the following countries and then ask yourselves what you have done about it: Syria, Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Myanmar, Yemen and Nigeria.