CJ Bersamin on UNHRC reso: Other countries cannot intervene in PH affairs

Marje Pelayo   •   July 19, 2019   •   1636

UNHRC Hall | Courtesy: United Nations Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin called the United Nation Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) adoption of a resolution to probe human rights situation in the country as ‘minority’ since only 18 countries voted for it.

Though his statement was brief, Bersamin said other countries have no reason to intervene with Philippine affairs especially its policies.

“Mukhang tama nga naman sina Secretary Panelo dahil minority resolution lang iyan. But you know, I am a member of the Judiciary and kailangan ipilit kong sabihin sa ngayon wala naman kami nakikitang dapat lamang na manghimasok ang taga ibang bansa,” the Chief Justice said in support of Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo’s position on the matter.

(It seems Sec. Panelo was right because that’s only a minority resolution. But you know I am a member of the Judiciary and for now, I am compelled to speak. So far, I see no reason for other countries to meddle in our affairs.)

“Other than that, hindi na ko magsasalita (I won’t say anything more). I cannot be the architect of our foreign affairs,” he added.

The Palace previously called the resolution an insult to the Filipinos.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), however, clarified that the Philippines will not cut its ties with any member of the human rights body. — with reports from Mai Bermudez

AFP, UN sign strategic plan to protect children in armed conflict

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the United Nations (UN) have signed a strategic plan to protect children in armed conflict.

In a statement on Thursday (June 10), AFP Chief  Gen. Cirilito Sobejana said the AFP shall ensure to maintain professionalism and discipline in conducting daily operations. He also said the AFP will aim to strengthen the protection of children in armed conflict and prevent grave child rights violations.

“We shall guarantee that all our personnel are properly educated and trained, to raise their awareness, and for a deeper sense of respect and regard to the promotion and protection of Human Rights in particular, to children’s rights, and adherence to International Humanitarian Law,” he said.

Under the “Strategic Plan to Prevent and Respond to Grave Child Rights Violations in Situations of Armed Conflict”, the AFP should fully comply with its obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The Strategic Plan was signed by Sobejana along with UN resident coordinator and co-chair of UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (UN-CTFMR) Gustavo Gonzales, and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov on Wednesday (June 9). AAC

UN-HRC to probe possible war crimes amid Israel-Gaza conflict

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2021

The United Nations Human Rights Council (UN-HRC) has launched an international investigation into alleged crimes committed during the conflict between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas in Gaza.

The UN-HRC adopted a resolution that will establish an inquiry commission to “investigate alleged human rights violations & abuses in Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, & in Israel, up to & since 13 April 2021.”

Twenty-four countries, out of the 47-member forum, voted in favor of the said probe while 14 abstained.

The document stated that the commission of inquiry shall “establish the facts and circumstances that may amount to such violations and abuses and of the crimes perpetrated.”

The commission shall “collect, consolidate, and analyze evidence of such violations and abuses and of the crimes perpetrated, and systematically record and preserve all information, documentation and evidence, including interviews, witness testimony, and forensic material, in accordance with the international law standards, in order to maximize the possibility of its admissibility in legal proceedings,” according to the document.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the said UN-HRC decision, saying it is a “mockery of international law”.

“Today’s shameful decision is yet another example of the UN Human Rights Council’s blatant anti-Israel obsession. This travesty makes a mockery of international law and encourages terrorists worldwide,” he said.

The Palestinian Authority said the resolution would pave way for the international community to know the discrimination of Israel against Palestinians. AAC

UN on Israel-Gaza tension: Fighting must stop

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 17, 2021

Amid the rising tensions between Israel and Gaza, the United Nations (UN) has called for cessation of violence.

Over 40 were killed in the latest airstrikes of Israel on Gaza totaling to 192 lives lost, including women and children.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Armed Forces (IAF) reported that over 3,000 rockets were launched by Palestinian militants against Israel during the past week.

On Monday, it also reported that IAF fighter jets and aircraft struck nine residences belonging to Hamas terror organization high ranking commanders in the Gaza Strip.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the rising tension might place the region in an uncontainable crisis.

“Fighting must stop. It must stop immediately. Rockets and mortars on one side and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must stop. I appeal to all parties to heed this call. The United Nations is actively engaging all sides towards an immediate ceasefire,” he said

He also said that the UN is already coordinating with Israel and Gaza to call for an immediate ceasefire. AAC

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