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Dapat mag-fact check! Andanar urges rights groups: Validate abuse claims

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Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday urged human rights watchdogs, including the United Nations (UN), to acknowledge the need for due diligence in validating allegations presented to them.

“Establishing the facts behind these claims is important. The government takes seriously its duty to investigate all claims of human rights violations, and to prosecute perpetrators,” Andanar said in a statement which backed Guevarra’s address during the 44th United Nations Human Rights Council’s Enhanced Interactive Dialogue in Geneva, Switzerland on June 30.

Andanar said the Duterte administration will continue to promote and uphold its democratic ideals and legal institutions grounded within law and with respect towards human rights.

He vowed to continue to support human rights, noting that the agency continues to involve the public through its RealNumbersPH, which has been ensuring full transparency and accountability while the government continues its anti-illegal drug campaign.

“PCOO shall continue to partner with our law enforcement agencies in implementing the President’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, to make our communities safer from the scourge of drugs and criminality and enable our people to fully enjoy their rights,” he said.

Currently, the inter-agency review panel, chaired by the Department of Justice (DOJ), is conducting a judicious review of the 5,655 law enforcement operations where there were reported civilian fatalities.

The PCOO likewise expressed its support for the inter-agency review body in carrying out its mandate with full transparency.

Andanar said the dialogue also affirmed that member-states recognize the Philippines’ openness and transparency in its initiatives, especially on the anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“Other countries acknowledge that the government has strong institutions that do not permit the commission of sweeping and systemic human rights violations as alleged by some political actors,” he said. (PNA)

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