Thank you, Madame President,
The United Kingdom thanks the High Commissioner for her report and her work over the past year.
The UK notes with concern the issues highlighted in the report, in particular, the number of killings associated with the ‘war on drugs’, the treatment of human rights defenders and land rights activists, and the prison congestion rate. We urge the government of the Philippines to investigate all deaths related to the ‘war on drugs’ and implement the recommendations in the High Commissioner’s report.
The UK remains strongly committed to supporting human rights defenders, land rights activists, and journalists, including in the Philippines. They should be able to operate without fear of reprisal.
The United Kingdom welcomes the steps taken by the Government of the Philippines to address impunity for killings of journalists in the Ampatuan Massacre case.
The UK is concerned about the continuing cases against Rappler, and its CEO Maria Ressa and notes the recent closure of ABS-CBN; what is your view on how to best protect freedom of expression in the Philippines?