President Duterte is sending a team that will be co-headed by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano to defend the human rights record of his administration before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland on May 8.
“Tell the truth. Tell the real numbers and tell the facts,” Cayetano said of the objective of the team when it makes a presentation of the country’s human rights record to the UNCHR which makes a periodic review of the every three years.
“We believe after the presentation the wrong facts on the campaign against drugs will be clarified,” Cayetano also said.
He said that the Philippine report was very comprehensive and that it would reply to criticisms hurled against the country three years ago.
In the report, Cayetano said they did not shy away from questions on the government’s campaign against drugs, amid reports it was sanctioning extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.
The senator said they expect other countries will raise many questions to the team not only on the war on drugs by the government but also the bid to reimpose the death penalty and to lower the age of criminal liability of minors – two measures that President Duterte wanted Congress to pass.
Aside from Cayetano, the President designated Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra as co-head of the delegation and Undersecretary Severo Catura of the Presidential Human Rights Committee Secretariat as member of the team.
“We are always ready to defend our country, the President’s intentions, what’s happening in our country. But we are also honest there are human rights violations but not State-sponsored,” Cayetano also said.