2023 March 30
The Philippines will continue being an active player both bilaterally and globally on dialogues tackling various issues based on constructive engagements and as long as they back the country’s interests, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Wednesday.
“The Philippines will continue to engage countries bilaterally and in international platforms on issues concerning democracy, human rights, and good governance, as long as these engagements are constructive, based on facts, and respectful of Philippine sovereignty,” President Marcos said in a video message during the plenary session of the Second Session for Summit for Democracy.
“The Philippines will sustain its tradition of open, constructive, and active engagement on human rights on matters that will meaningfully contribute towards reinforcing the sinews of democracy and of freedom. Thus, we enable our people to flourish and meet our national aspirations to be a modern prosperous middle-income society by 2040,” the President explained.
The chief executive told summit participants that since taking office in July last year, the administration’s thrust toward economic recovery has centered on encouraging participative governance that adopts new ways and innovative solutions by fostering the spirit of unity, dialogue, and citizen empowerment.
On the domestic front, President Marcos said his administration has rolled out measures to achieve its objectives for people-centered growth and prosperity by consolidating reforms in the judicial system, believing that economic recovery and progress can only take place through transparent, effective and responsible institutions.
“We are investing more to enhance the administration of justice through the various institutions and mechanisms already in place to protect the right to life, liberty and security of the Filipino people,” President Marcos said, adding that the government prioritized the establishment of the Department of Migrant Workers to protect and promote the rights of more than 10 million Filipino migrants.
The administration is also strengthening further well-established accountability mechanisms and policies to protect women and children, the President said as he stressed that the nation’s justice reform agenda acknowledges that real justice means the humane treatment of persons deprived of liberty and efficient prosecution of criminal cases.
President Marcos said the administration is pouring resources and energy into improving the processes in the investigation of cases and the witness protection program.
In the Philippines’ fight against illegal drugs, the government continues focusing on strengthening state programs on rehabilitation, prevention, education and assistance to drug victims and their families as well as ensuring transparency and accountability on law enforcement operations, according to the President.
So far, the Joint Program on Human Rights (UNJP) launched by the government with the United Nations in 2021, has shown significant progress in fostering consensus building and collaborative partnership in a broad range of target areas, President Marcos noted.
The President also said the rule of law prevails in the Philippines and its criminal justice system is functioning fully.
“We continue to improve mechanisms such as the AO35 inter-agency committee to enhance accountability. The Philippines’ commitment to fight impunity for atrocity crimes is solid and unwavering, notwithstanding the withdrawal of the country from the Rome Statute,” President Marcos pointed out.
“The Philippines has a national legislation punishing heinous crimes. We have vigorously exercised our jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute crimes, including those allegedly committed in the context of the anti-illegal drugs campaign,” the chief executive said.
President Marcos thanked US President Joe Biden and the US government for convening the Second Summit for Democracy, along with co-host countries Costa Rica, South Korea, The Netherlands, and Zambia.
According to the President, the Summit “affirms the solidarity of nations bound by values of democracy and sends a powerful message of our collective will to bring about the best of peoples and societies empowered by freedom.”
In December 2021, President Biden held the first of two Summits for Democracy, which brought together leaders from government, civil society, and the private sector aimed at setting forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal and to tackle the greatest threats facing democracies.