By all means, Filipinos should welcome to their shores the United Nations Human Rights Council delegation headed by Michelle Bachelet. They should open their government to “investigation” for “human rights” abuses. The key caveat there is that the public should keep engaged and apply a critical mind to observing and evaluating the progress of the investigation.
The Opposition have an agenda, and it is to overthrow the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. The UNHRC have a job to do, and that is to investigate and report on their findings. It is important to remember that, given those two objectives, the Opposition agenda and the UNHRC report, only the Filipino Voter has the final say on whether or not Duterte stays in power.
I therefore agree on this — that the UNHRC “investigation” should be embraced by Filipinos with open arms. In doing so, they will demonstrate not only their faith in their democratic institutions but also the strong mandate they have given the Duterte government to continue down the path he is leading his people.
That said, Leni Robredo is still wrong in saying this…
“If I were (the government), I will entertain (the reviewers) because we are a member of the UN,” Robredo said in an interview with dzMM
No, Leni. The Philippines does not comply simply because it is a member of the UN. The Philippines complies because Filipinos know who their president is and what they expect of him — because they voted for him.
Maria Ressa is insulting Filipino lawyers by hiring foreigners to defend her. I suppose it’s because it’s mostly foreigners who buy her lies. More importantly, foreigners lack a broad understanding of the context behind those lies.
These foreigners should take time out to recall just a few years back how no less than their resident Yellow “investigative journalist” Raissa Robles reported how they “reacted with disbelief to reports that star international lawyer Amal Clooney had filed a complaint to a UN human rights body on behalf of detained former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo”.
Now that Clooney is on the side of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, the Yellows are all cheers. Selective indeed.
All that said, I actually welcome Amal Clooney joining Maria Ressa’s defense team. She’s an intelligent woman and would soon find out Ressa’s case doesn’t have legs to stand on. She could still continue to defend her after she finds out the truth, but Ressa’s lies will eventually be exposed.
Tax evasion is a domestic issue that can be handled internally within the Philippines through its criminal justice system. It seems, however, that Rappler CEO Maria Ressa begs to be above that system and, in essence, above Philippine law itself.
News has recently come out that celebrity lawyer Amal Clooney will be “representing” Ressa in some sort of case seemingly framed around, you guessed it, “media freedom”…
“Maria Ressa is a courageous journalist who is being persecuted for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses. We will pursue all available legal remedies to vindicate her rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines,” Clooney said in a press statement released by London-based law firm Doughty Street Chambers announcing the relationship.
In what court will this legal battle be fought? Nowhere in this CNN International “report” are such specifics mentioned.
What is disturbing is that the charges against Ressa are very specific. But Clooney, disrespectfully lumps all these together into an arbitrary bucket CNN suggests she calls “charges that critics say are designed to silence her.”
Wow. Case framed around a flakey opinion issued by a nebulous community arbitrarily labelled “Duterte’s critics”. Sounds like a real winner of a case there.
Filipinos should watch this space. Perhaps there is yet another case to be filed against Ressa unfolding here — one that could be built around her very evident contempt for the Philippines’ very own and fully-functional criminal justice system.
The Inquirerhighlights the key message of the report…
By failing to extend assistance, the Chinese vessel failed to comply with the regulations of the United Nation Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which obliges masters of ships to provide assistance to the distressed persons at sea, the report stated.
Now that there is an authoritative account of what happened, there is now a clear basis to take action.
(1) Mount a criminal investigation and court procedure that leads to a proper ruling issued by a Philippine Court.
The case therefore needs to be put through the Philippines’ criminal-justice system after which, “If prosecution is successful, file a request to extradite the captain and crew of Yuemaobinyu 42212 from China.”
The important thing is a pathway forward is defined and taken. No aimless shrill activism will replace a modern effort of thinking things through and executing the plan decisively.
This is not about blind loyalty to Duterte. This is about common sense. China did not order the attack on the Filipino fishermen. The captain of the Filipino fishing boat Junel Insigne couldn’t even give an accurate account of what happened. Besides, what do you want Duterte to do? Declare war vs China? C’mon!
It seems that the Opposition’s only real agenda is to exploit this incident as a means to smear the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte with bad PR. Unfortunately for them a PR disaster means there is fallout. If the Recto Reef incident was a PR disaster, then what is the fallout? Only the people who never trusted Duterte from Day One to do the right thing are disappointed in him. Insigne eventually changed his story and now said he’s not sure.
Bikoy, for example, had a different story when the Yellows were still handling him and then he changed it as soon as they threw him under the bus. It seems that Insigne is acting the same way. He was singing a different tune when he first talked to the media and then changed it. No conviction!
I noticed too that some people get riled up about imagined offences like “what ifs” out of an encounter that didn’t actually result in tragedy. Chinese officials already responded and appealed for calm and they are also investigating. It’s not like they completely ignored the issue.
I think Duterte’s cabinet did a good job in calming the public and managing the aftermath of this incident. Some members of the Opposition and those with misguided Pinoy “pride” over-reacted and were trying to rile the public with their anti-China stance, but they failed because the fisherman himself changed his tune.
Why discriminate in the dispensation of justice in favour of “activists” and “journalists”? This is what proponents of a new law that adds favour to the “plight” of “human rights defenders” need to answer. It seems they are proposing a law that is completely redundant…
According to the explanatory note of the Makabayan bloc, human rights defenders are subjected to different kinds of harassment and threats. These include:
Abductions and kidnappings
Arbitrary arrest and detention
Filing of trumped-up charges
Many groups also emphasized that these attacks do not only target the defenders themselves, but also extend to their families. This aims to act as a way to prevent them from continuing with their works to spare their loved ones from the harassment.
Worse, this proposed law is discriminatory. Aren’t all of these types of attacks against people already punishable under existing Philippine laws? If so, it would seem that the proposed law that favours “human rights defenders” is discriminatory as it puts undue priority on the cases involving “human rights defenders” at the expense of cases of other Filipinos who have equal rights to attention as victims of what are essentially the same crimes.
People need to question why these people think some ought to be given extra special treatment under this new law. All Filipinos should be equal under the law and shouldn’t be entitled to special treatment just because they are “human rights defenders”.
Once again “vice president” Leni Robredo proves that she never was part of the Philippine government. Rather than set an example to the Filipino people by exhibiting faith in the ability of their country, their government, and their institutions to sort out its own domestic problems, Robredo shows a sick inclination to reach out to the devices of former colonial masters.
It totally escapes Robredo just how inappropriate her words are in reportedly calling for a foreign “human rights council” to meddle in what is clearly the jurisdiction of a Philippine court as well as every institution involved in the Philippines’ criminal justice system.
Kung totoo na walang human rights violations dito, bakit sasalungatin natin iyong imbestigasyon? Kasi ‘di ba, mas mabuti ngang pinapakita natin na wala tayong tinatago kaysa haharangin natin?
Robredo is, in effect, encouraging Filipinos to place their trust in a foreign entity, the United Nations Human Rights Council, to rule on what is clearly a case that can be resolved using their existing and hard-fought-for democratic institutions.
Perhaps it is indeed true. Robredo did not win the vice presidency in 2016 and is only in power thanks to the machinations of her partisan camp. This is evident in the attitude she exhibits towards her own people’s government.
The whole problem with men according women the respect they deserve is a problem of upbringing. Most adults are products of their upbringing. Raise them to be disrespectful and they grow up disrespectful.
Indeed, implementing a law that specifically targets cat-calling completely misses the point.
For one thing, the act of cat-calling as being disrespectful is debatable to begin with. Some women find it offensive. Others find it flattering. Those who do find it flattering have to live in silence with that unpopular opinion in the snowflake society we see today.
Second, cat-calling, from the perspective of it being supposedly “disrespectful”, is just a small component of a larger landscape of ingrained lack of respect in Philippine society. No statistics are readily available, but I’d hazard a guess that people who habitually cat-call are also people who are predisposed to litter and piss on public walls and streets. The point is, creating an ethic of respect for others is an initiative that is a lot more complex than simply pandering to snowflake “activism”.
The new law to penalise cat-calling will simply drive the behaviour underground and will not solve the real problem which is Filipino parents not doing enough to teach their kids to habitually do the right things.
Pity former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales. She is a former Philippine official who gets detained in and deported from Hong Kong like a common undesirable alien. That’s what you get when you file a case against a global superpower before a Mickey Mouse court such as that of the “International Criminal Court”.
Yellowtards still don’t get it. The world is not fair and it certainly won’t be fair to anyone just because they feel they are entitled to fairness. Not surprisingly this appeal to fairness is the only argument of Morales’s attorney Anne Marie Corominas…
“She has committed no crime. She’s only exercised her democratic rights as a Filipino citizen!” Corominas said.
Well now, tough shit, right? Perhaps Morales should file another case with the ICC this time for “unfair deportation”. We’ll wish her all the best of luck with that case.