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PHL didn't fully accept UN rights proposals 'to assert independent foreign policy'

The Philippine government did not fully accept 154 recommendations United Nations Human Rights Council member states as "part of our prerogative to exercise independent foreign policy," Malacañang said on Monday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier announced that the Philippines fully accepted 103 of the 257 recommendations made during the Third Philippine Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to the UNHRC, the 154 recommendations were marked as “noted,” with 99 “accepted in principle” and 55 “could not be fully supported by the Government.”

“There are certain items that we feel — needs to be acted on and — in order to continue to maintain our constitutional stance of maintaining an independent foreign policy,” Abella said during the Mindanao Hour in Malacañang.

The Philippines “noted” recommendations on extrajudicial killings that stemmed from the war on drugs. Recommendations on the reinstatement of the death penalty and lowering of the age of criminal responsibility were rejected because discussions in Congress were still ongoing.

The Philippines also “noted” some of the UNHCR member states’ recommendations to allow a UN special rapporteur to visit the country.

During the UPR in May, countries including France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, and Latvia called on the government to allow UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Agnes Callamard to conduct an investigation without any conditions and without delay.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano previously said that the Philippines would welcome any special rapporteur except Callamard.

Duterte has previously invited Callamard to visit, but only with conditions, including a public debate. Callamard has rejected those conditions. —JST, GMA News