PH not remiss in helping human rights victims, Roque tells U.N. rights body

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 17) — Malacanang warded off criticisms hurled by the United Nation's High Commissioner for Human Rights against Philippine government policies that it claimed led to killings and abuses.

"With all due respect to Madame (Michelle) Bachelet, as a former president of Chile, she knows that we have domestic institutions to promote accountability, we will rely on these domestic institutions, and as of now all institutions...and other remedies are available to those who claim to be victims of human rights violations," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing on Thursday,

Roque also said the country has never neglected its responsibility to take care of victims of human rights violations.

At Monday's opening of the 45th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, Bachelet expressed concern about the abuses across several countries, including the drug-related killings in the Philippines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In her report to the council in June, Bachelet flagged the "widespread and systematic" killings which she said were "being carried out without due regard for the rule of law, due process, and the human rights of people who may be using or selling drugs."

The Justice Department subsequently said that an inter-agency panel has been looking into all the 5,655 anti-drug operations that resulted in deaths.

Aside from the drug war, Bachelet also sounded the alarm over the harassment, threats, and violence against journalists, activists and critics of the administration, the passage of the "problematic" Anti-Terrorism Act, and Duterte's renewed call for the revival of death penalty.