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‘Now they're listening,’ Locsin says after UN OKs reso to help in Philippines' human rights efforts

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Thursday said the Philippines would cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after it approved a resolution seeking to strengthen human rights and accountability mechanisms in the country.

"Now they're listening. We took a beating before," Locsin told senators during the hearing on the DFA's proposed P21.96 billion budget for 2021.

"We're gonna have to do our part. We're gonna have to cooperate in getting the capacity to address the drug problem," he added.

Locsin said he has also previously appealed for technical help from the body but not "in the form of people coming in who already pre-judged what already happened in the Philippines."

On Wednesday, the UNHRC adopted a resolution asking UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to support the Philippines in fulfilling its international human rights obligations—not an independent probe.

The assistance will be for domestic investigative and accountability measures, data gathering on alleged police violations, civic space and engagement with civil society and the Commission on Human Rights, national mechanisms for reporting and follow-up, counter-terrorism legislation, and human rights-based approaches to drug control.

Malacañang, which has repeatedly rejected calls for an independent UN investigation on the human rights situation in the Philippines, said the country will fully cooperate regarding the technical assistance.

In July 2019, the UNHRC voted to set up an investigation into thousands of killings in the Philippines' war on drugs but the Philippine government rejected the said move.—LDF, GMA News