Rejoinder to editorial About UN rapporteur 

By Reni M. Valenzuela

This is a rejoinder to a newspaper Editorial, “Nosy Khan” (Daily Tribune, 7 February 2024). I take exception to many of the points raised there. Ms. Irene Khan neither “overstepped her boundaries” nor “meddled” in our internal affairs.

I agreed when the piece noted that “the role of a United Nations special rapporteur is to advocate for human rights, promote justice, and hold governments accountable for their actions.” But isn’t that exactly what Ms. Khan did and intends to do?

Also I agreed when the editorial catechized, “handling security issues is mainly the country’s job, and any outside help should be all about boosting the government’s ability to protect human rights.” The beef, however, (obviously) is that our government has not been doing its job right, well, fair and square, impartial and on purpose regarding the issue/s that involve human rights and justice, vis-a-vis in particular the Duterte drug war and the NTF-Elcac. Is that “handling security issues” the way it should it be?

In this connection, may I share the following article I recently wrote — for the enlightenment/benefit of your readers.

Until serious, sincere, concrete and genuine actions are being done by the government, free from “politics” and blinding devotion to a false god, the issue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) coming into the picture will not go away.

There will always be the compelling need for the ICC’s intervention in rendering justice to the victims of extrajudicial killing in the drug war of the previous administration and such is impertinent to “national sovereignty,” but pertinent to national sanity, pure and critical. For almost eight wasted years, what Filipinos and the international community have been witnessing is deliberate inaction. Impotence. Political evil.

We need the “outsider” ICC in the same vein that we need “outsiders” such as the Permanent Court of Arbitration, United Nations and other countries in solving our problem with China’s bullying, grabbing and injustice in the West Philippine Sea. Funny, the myopic see no “insult to the country” with it.

To our justice officials:  You have been waiting for witnesses and pieces of evidence (like the biblical manna from heaven) before you act: But why wait?  And what “pieces of evidence” and witnesses are you waiting for? The evidence are glaring. Everyone is a witness.

Simply look at the daily news during that time, not to mention the explicit, lucid pronouncements of the former president during the same time, all nothing hyperbolic. It’s just a matter of procedural compliance to a justice system if indeed the system we have is about justice — to bring about justice (swiftly and justly) to the more than 30,000 dead victims according to the actual / more believable figures of various human rights groups. Inept. Spineless. Or a mere twaddle.

Do your work, Sirs, and lead the way if there is truthfulness in all what you are saying.  Alibis. All talk. Lame excuses. The carnage was done in broad daylight almost everyday before the eyes of the whole world. Weren’t you born yet during that (2016 – 2022) period?

Let ICC in.

Truth be told, the call for justice on the matter should include not just the masterminds and culprits who were directly involved in perpetrating the massacre. Could and should these officials (and others) be equally held liable for and complicit to the crimes due to justice obstruction? I think so. Pray that all will ultimately be fair and square, dear countrymen.

Jesus cries out, “justice!” “This is what the Lord Almighty said: Administer true justice…”  – Zechariah 7:9.  

Meanwhile, the communist insurgency in the country has been significantly reduced in a lot of ways. True. But correction please, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) has nothing to do with it.

It’s a natural phenomenon even long before the creation of the NTF-ELCAC – a result of nature-bound episodes, corollary to the world that continues to unroll and undergo changes (ideologically, politically, technologically, etc.), amid the evolving culture of the contemporary times, unconnected and unrelated to what the “task force” has been impressing upon our people to alter/distort the real picture or tear down the picture. The glory is unto nature or God. Rob it not from Him.

Truly end the insurrection by ending the “task force.” Peace talk is the key, but they don’t want it because they want to keep the “task force” (and their budget).

To the UN Special Rapporteur Irene Khan: Thank you for your visit to our beloved, beleaguered, confused, pitiful country. Yes, Madam, “abolish the NTF- ELCAC!” Kudos.

It is ironic and pathetic that other nationalities are more concerned (apparently) about justice in our land than Filipinos or Filipino officials. Shame on us.

renivalenzuelaletters@yahoo.com

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