MALACAÑANG reiterated yesterday President Rodrigo Duterte’s commitment to uplift the lives of
Filipinos, especially the poor, marginalized and vulnerable.
The Palace made the remark yesterday as the world marked International Human Rights Day.
Noting that the Philippines is an active member of the United Nations Human Rights Council
(UNHRC), and respect for human rights as State policy is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution,
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the Duterte administration “works hard with the best interest
of every Filipino.”
“The Duterte Administration works hard with the best interest of every Filipino, especially
the poor and the marginalized and most vulnerable, as its main concern,” Roque said in his statement
to Palace reporters yesterday.
“These are the women and children in crises situations, persons with disabilities, indigenous
peoples, migrant workers, older persons, people and communities displaced by natural and human-induced
calamities, among others,” he added.
The spokesperson also stressed that the best way to ensure a government’s efficiency is by
“The best way to do this is to ensure government efficiency and effectiveness that will
translate to every Filipino getting a fighting chance to overcome poverty, to uplift one’s status in
society and to live a life with higher dignity,” Roque said.
“That direction is what inspires the government’s compliance with its human rights
obligations. As a Nobel Peace Prize winner once said, ‘poverty is the absence of human rights’,” he
The Palace spokesman said the government was pleased that UNHRC “unanimously accepted and
commended” the Outcome Report on the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) this year.
For his part, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said that rights-related programs of
government agencies have a more expansive view of human rights and are aimed at improving the lives of
vulnerable sectors of society.
“We trust that this year’s observance of the National Human Rights Consciousness Week and the
International Human Rights Day will be an opportunity for a higher appreciation of and support for the
broader field of human rights that seeks to uplift the lives of people and communities,” said
Medialdea, who chairs the Presidential Human Rights Committee.