It appears that even an unusually large contingent of government advisers was still not enough to ensure that Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita presented an accurate picture of the human rights situation in RP, much less truthfully represent the Filipinos’ perception of it.

According to research group IBON, one of the convenors of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Watch, Sec. Ermita’s presentation at the UPR deliberations was the exact opposite of most Filipinos’ preception of the state of human rights in the country. Based on IBON’s yearend nationwide survey, most Filipinos are aware that many activists and civilians critical of the Arroyo government have become victims of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances since 2001. Majority of respondents who were aware believe that the police and/or military are behind these human rights violations.

IBON executive director Jaz Lumang said, “As the Philippine representative to the UN Human Rights Council, Ermita failed to represent the sentiment of his countrymen and completely distorted the real situation of human rights in the country.”

The shameful efforts of Ermita and the government delegation to conceal the administration’s deplorable human rights record and misrepresent the truth before the international community are more than enough basis to remove the Philippine government from the UN Human Rights Council, said Lumang.


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