UN Committee Against Torture considers PH 3rd report

Undersecretary Corvera, in his opening statement, declared that the “Philippines sees every opportunity to evaluate its human rights record as an opportunity for improvement” and welcomed the observations of CAT.

He highlighted the efforts of the Philippine government in implementing the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which include the Philippine’s Anti-Torture Campaign, the creation of an inter-agency committee monitoring the status of human rights violations including cases of torture, and the crafting of Philippine Human Rights Action Plan for 2012-2017.

He also mentioned several laws and mechanisms in place all aimed at eliminating incidents of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Undersecretary Corvera stressed that the Philippine government prioritizes capacity-building, and inter-agency and multi-sector cooperation in advancing the anti-torture campaign, which involve police-military-church dialogues on human rights issues and conduct of community-based dialogues with civil society on human rights issues and concerns at the grassroots level.

This is the 3rd periodic reporting for the Philippines for the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The last report of the Philippines was in April 2009.

The Philippine delegation is composed of senior officials from the Office of the President-Presidential Human Rights Committee, the Presidential Legislative and Liaison Office (PLLO), the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP),the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), the Supreme Court (SC), the Sandiganbayan, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC), and the Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the United Nations in Geneva.

Other than Undersecretary Corvera, other senior officials with the Philippine delegation are Justice Undersecretary Wendell Go, Chief State Counsel Ricardo Paras III, Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Undersecretary Bernardino Sayo, and Presidential Human Rights Committee Executive Director Severo Catura.

Geneva is the seat of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies.

From: DILG