PH undertakes ‘transformational reform’ of justice system — Remulla

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla speaks during the enhanced interactive dialogue on the High Commissioner’s report on the Philippines during the 51st Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. Courtesy of DFA.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is “undertaking transformational reform” of its justice system, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has said.

During a dialogue on the Philippines during the 51st session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council on Wednesday, Remulla highlighted the country’s efforts to address human rights issues under the administration. of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“The Philippines, under the unifying leadership of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., is embarking on a transformational reform of its justice and law enforcement sectors,” the justice chief said in his opening remarks. .

He added that “real justice in real time” is necessary to strengthen the national protection of human rights.

Remulla boasted of Marcos’ policy directives to focus efforts on the war on illegal drugs on arresting criminal masterminds as well as rehabilitating victims and assisting their loved ones.

The Justice Secretary said a total of 302 drug cases were referred by the Department of Justice (DOJ) review board to the National Bureau of Investigation for backlog.

Remulla urged civil society organizations to team up with the government to provide information for the filing of cases, assuring them that the witness protection program would be strengthened so that “fear does not obstruct justice”.

Additionally, he announced the DOJ’s plan to release 5,000 persons deprived of their liberty (PDL) or detainees by June next year. Last month, 371 PDLs were released after serving their sentences.

In addition to prison decongestion, Remulla noted DOJ initiatives to improve access to justice and accountability mechanisms and retraining of law enforcement personnel.

Remulla said the DOJ will “work tirelessly under my leadership and do everything in our power with other government agencies and partners to raise our standards, decongest our prisons, protect witnesses, hold perpetrators accountable and, most importantly, , injecting human rights into the DNA of all law enforcement and justice processes.

“There is no turning back…it is a responsibility that the administration of President Marcos assumes with the utmost seriousness, professionalism and vigour.

“Understand the context of our challenges…on the ground…Trust…and work with us to realize the vision of human rights and justice for all,” the leader said.

Recognizing the Philippines’ constructive engagement with the international community on human rights, UN Member States noted the progress of the Philippine government in strengthening national accountability mechanisms and institutions.

READ: Remulla says PH government fails to take constructive approach on human rights

UN Member States also pledged to continue supporting the Joint UN Human Rights Programme.

Remulla assured the international community that the Philippines remains committed to continuing and expanding human rights programs.

The International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into the brutal war on drugs waged by the administration of former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and alleged human rights abuses related to it.

/MUF

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