Philippines: Politics and Government

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Hylton Lord Hylton Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will call for an independent investigation of recent actions by the government of the Philippines, in particular (1) the arrest of senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes, (2) the removal of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and (3) in respect of journalists and news organisations.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

The British Government's view on the importance of the rule of law is clear, consistent and well known in the Philippines. In August 2018, Mr Field raised our concerns with several Philippine Ministers during his trip to Manila.

In November 2018 a senior official from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office called on the Government of the Philippines to ensure thorough and independent investigations into deaths relating to the war on drugs and deaths of human rights defenders, and to commit to bringing those responsible to justice. The British Embassy in Manila consistently champions democratic values, including the independence of the judiciary and a free parliamentary opposition. Cases of harassment of high profile political opponents are regularly raised with the Government of the Philippines. We have also raised our concerns about media freedom and action taken against the media organisation Rappler. We maintain close contact with human rights groups in the Philippines and the UN on a range of human rights issues.

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