Palace debunks UN rapporteur's claims of authoritarianism
Malacanang on Saturday told United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Righta of Indigenous People Victoria Tauli-Corpuz that democracy in the Philippines is "vibrant and strong".
In a statement, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the remark of Tauli-Corpuz showed how detached she is with the realities happening in the Philippines.
"Democracy in the Philippines is vibrant and strong. All the branches of the government are functioning and the rule of law thrives," he said.
He added the executive branch "respects the separation of powers and the independence of the other co-equal branches and doesnt meddle with their affairs".
In a speech in Milan, Italy last March 25, Tauli-Corpuz said the Philippine government has become authoritarian.
The UN special rapporteur is the leader of the Kankanaey Igorot people and one of the more than 600 persons the Department of Justice wants to declared by a court as terrorists for their alleged links with the Communist Party of the Philippines.
In an opinion piece for the Financial Times last March 29, Tauli-Corpuz said her "mandate is to report when communities anywhere in the world are forced to relocate, their lands uprooted, their leaders either deemed criminals or killed."
"Not everyone wants to hear it, but the message needs to be spread. In the Philippines, they are shooting the messengers. The country leads Asia in the number of murders of indigenous and environmental activists, with 41 people killed last year," she said.
She said her next report to the UN "will focus on the topic of indigenous criminalisation."
"We are hearing testimony from indigenous and community leaders, human rights officials, and academic experts from more than two dozen countries, and will issue an official report later this year," she said. Ella Dionisio/DMS