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Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Philippines
October 5, 2022

Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Philippines

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America

As Delivered by Chris Kucharski

Human Rights Council – 51st Session

Thank you, High Commissioner.

The United States is concerned about restrictions of freedom of expression and press in the Philippines. These include cyber libel charges against Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr, the revocation of independent media outlet Rappler’s certificate of incorporation, and the suspension of ABS-CBN’s broadcasting license.

We call for resolution of cases against Ressa and Santos Jr. in a manner consistent with the Philippines’ international obligations and urge the government to allow independent media outlets to operate without obstruction.

We also urge the government of the Philippines to end the practice of “red-tagging” and the targeting of individuals for their political opinions or human rights work.

We note the 2018 opinion of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and call for the release of former Senator Leila De Lima.

We welcome the commitment of the Philippines to advance accountability for extrajudicial killings under the UN Joint Programme and encourage additional action to prevent human rights abuses and violations.

I thank you.

Question: How can we advance freedom of expression and press freedom in the Philippines?