• German envoy reminds PH of obligation to follow international human rights pacts


    AN envoy of the German embassy in Manila has reminded the Philippines of its commitments to the treaties it signed in upholding human rights.

    Roland Schissau, deputy head of mission of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, said Philippines was a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) drafted by the United Nations in 1948.

    “As signatory to international human rights agreements, it is your obligation, and its is binding to Filipino people to engage in dialogs, explain potential shortcomings, and stop the impunity,” Schissau told a forum at The Manila Hotel in Manila.

    He clarified that in issuing such a statement, he was not interfering in the affairs of the Philippines, much more telling the government on how best to solve drug addiction.

    He welcomed the move of the Senate to look into the daily killings of suspected drug users and pushers.  He said Germany too had similar experiences in the past where more than 6 million Jews were killed because of blatant disregard of the rule of law in World War II.

    “Human rights are universal. We all work for crime-free society. There maybe short—term successes, which actually weaken the institution,” the German envoy said.

    Schissau said the European Union, of which Germany is an active member, was a staunch supporter of human rights and very sensitive when blatant transgressions were being committed.

    He, however, refused to single out the issue on extra judicial killings (EJKs) in the Philippines.

    The European Union (EU) issued in March statements against EJKs in the country and condemned the arrest and detention of Sen. Leila de Lima, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte whom she accused of killing innocents when he was mayor of Davao City.

    De Lima has been implicated in the drug trade in which she was supposed to have connived with drug lords serving life sentences at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.

    As a signatory to the UDHR, the Philippines adheres to the fundamental and inalienable rights to its population. Through the Bill of Rights, the Philippines is expected to create laws and policies that cater to a specific sector, like the Labor Code, the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, and rights of the poor.

    Duterte, true to his campaign (he was elected May 2016) vowed to end the drug menace by eliminating addicts and pushers.

    Police then launched aggressive anti-drug operations resulting in the deaths of suspected pushers who were killed on the pretext that they resisted arrest and opted to shoot it out with the law enforcers.

    According to the Philippine National Police tally, from July 1, 2016 to July 26, 2017, there were 68,214 police operations that resulted to 96, 214 drug personalities being arrested, some 1,308,078 surrenderers, and 3,451 killed.

    However, private anti-crime groups claimed there more than 6,000 victims.



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