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3 UN officials to visit PHL next year to assist with rights issues — Justice chief

JUSTICE SECRETARY JESUS CRISPIN REMULLA — PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

AT LEAST three officials of the United Nations (U.N.) will visit the Philippines early next year to look into and deliver programs that will help address the country’s human rights issues, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla said on Monday. 

At a livestreamed press briefing, Mr. Remulla said UN special rapporteurs on the sexual exploitation of children, freedom of expression, and extrajudicial killings will hold capacity-building programs in the country.  

“We want to build the capacities of our experts, especially our forensics pathologists,” he said. “The Philippines does not deny problems, it is open to suggestions.”  

Mr. Remulla noted that the government invited Morris Tidball-Binz, UN Special Rapporteur on extralegal killings and a forensics expert, to help train more forensic pathologists in the country.  

Forensics pathologist Raquel B. del Rosario-Fortun earlier told One News that the country needs more toxicology laboratories as well as a forensic science institute to enhance criminal investigations. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Remulla reiterated that the government has rejected UN recommendations on the legalization of abortion, divorce, and same-sex marriage as human rights in the Philippines is a “community-based” belief.  

“We said, culturally, our values may conflict with many values they want to impose on us… We are not ready for that,” he told the same briefing.  

Last week, the Philippines accepted 200 recommendations from member-states of the UN Human Rights Council, including extralegal killings and protecting journalists during its periodic review in Geneva last week. 

The Justice earlier said the Philippines would respond to the remaining 89 recommendations “in due course.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez

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