Senators Praise Administrative Order Focused on Human Rights by President Marcos

MANILA—Senators Joel Villanueva and Francis Escudero lauded President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Monday for his commitment to human rights, following the issuance of Administrative Order (AO) No. 22. This order establishes the Special Committee on Human Rights Coordination, aimed at continuing and enhancing the efforts initiated under the United Nations Joint Programme on Human Rights in the Philippines, particularly in law enforcement, criminal justice, and policymaking sectors.

According to Philippines News Agency, the order represents a crucial step in safeguarding the rights of every Filipino under the constitution. He expressed gratitude towards President Marcos for prioritizing human rights protection and highlighted the Senate’s decision to increase the 2024 budget of the Commission on Human Rights to support capacity-building initiatives further.

Escudero also emphasized the importance of effective implementation and accountability in the application of AO 22. He stated that the creation of the Special Committee is indicative of a strong commitment to uphold human rights and ensure accountability across governmental functions. “We must ensure that this initiative translates into meaningful action, benefiting all Filipinos,” Escudero noted in a press release.

The Special Committee on Human Rights Coordination will be chaired by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, with additional involvement from Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo and Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos.

The President, in the order signed on May 8, underscored the importance of maintaining and intensifying the achievements under the UN Joint Programme, which is set to expire on July 31, 2024, through a robust multi-stakeholder process for the promotion and protection of human rights in the country.