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11月16日のまにら新聞から

Task force head invites UN special rapporteur for dialogue as latter calls for its disbandment

[ 449 words|2023.11.16|英字 (English) ]

National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict vice chairman Secretary Eduardo Año invited UN Special Rapporteur Ian Fry for a dialogue following his call to “disband” the task force based on allegations of violations against environmental human rights defenders.

"Reiterating that Fry has had a very limited time in his visit, we extend an open invitation to him for a dialogue in the near future before he finalizes his report," Año said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We would consider his acceptance of this offer as an indication to truly preserve the integrity of his mandate to engage States on matters of human rights in an inclusive, impartial, and non-discriminatory manner," he added.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Fry said the task force is acting "beyond its mandate and its usefulness and needs to be disbanded outright".

"The government needs to develop another approach to deal with terrorism issues, but it's clear that this unit is operating with impunity and therefore needs to be abandoned," he said.

The Kilusang Mayo Uno, in a statement, said '' the number of labor-related extrajudicial killings have risen to 72.''

The task force '' has only caused harm and suffering among workers and unionists, farmers, indigenous peoples, church people, lawyers, women and the youth.''

Año noted that in the interest of fairness and justice, Fry "should have raised his concerns with us to ensure that he has full appreciation of the body’s mandate, operations, and over-all directions. Sadly, even if he had issues on the NTF ELCAC that are relevant to his report, he did not find time to do so."

"We wish to assure him that the NTF-ELCAC is a working and effective human rights mechanism founded on the principles of good and inclusive governance and we could have helped him define it in his study," he said.

"Specifically, we would have been able to provide valuable inputs on how the NTF-ELCAC has brought peace and development in far-flung communities, many of which are indigenous cultural communities greatly affected by the impact of climate change, apart from being victims of violent extremists and terrorists," he added.

Año said the NTF-ELCAC "could have assisted him in engaging with our stakeholders who are peace and human rights stakeholders and defenders."

"We could have informed him of the NTF-ELCAC’s flagship programs, advocacies, and thrusts to achieve genuine peace, unity and development, especially in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas that once served as hotbeds of communist terrorism," he said.

"Therefore, in the absence of this clarificatory engagement with the NTF-ELCAC, Fry’s report must be deemed incomplete. Clarity in context is required to enrich his report and render the same relevant," he added. Robina Asido/DMS