Ccpr/C/phl/4 United Nations ccpr/C/phl/4 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

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United Nations


International Covenant on
Civil and Political Rights

Distr.: General

20 January 2011

Original: English

Human Rights Committee

Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 40 of the Covenant

Fourth periodic reports of States parties

Philippines*, **

[12 September 2010]


Paragraphs Page

I. Introduction 1–7 4

II. General 8–80 5

  1. General information about the reporting State 8–15 5

  2. Constitutional, legislative, judicial and administrative framework governing
    the implementation of the Convention 16–80 9

III. Information relating to articles 1 to 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (“Covenant”) 81–412 19

Article 1: Right to self-determination 82–84 19

Article 2: Non-discrimination 85–119 20

Article 3: Equal rights of men and women 120–149 33

Article 4: Non-derogation of rights 150 40

Article 5: Prohibition of limited interpretation of rights 151 40

Article 6: Right to life 152–166 40

Article 7: Prohibition of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

and punishment 167–198 43

Article 8: Prohibition of slavery and slavery-like practices 199–210 48

Article 9: Rights of the accused 211–220 50

Article 10: Right to liberty and inherent dignity 221–232 51

Article 11: Prohibition of imprisonment on the ground of inability to fulfil
a contractual obligation 233–235 53

Article 12: Right to liberty of movement and of abode 236–239 53

Article 13: Prohibition against arbitrary expulsion of aliens 240–256 54

Article 14: Rights of the accused 257–269 57

Article 15: Prohibition against ex post facto law 270–279 61

Article 16: Right to recognition as a person before the law 280 63

Article 17: Prohibition of arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family,
home or correspondence, honor and reputation 281 63

Article 18: Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion 282–284 63

Article 19: Right to freedom of expression and opinion 285–292 64

Article 20: Prohibition of propaganda for war 293 65

Article 21: Right of peaceful assembly 294–302 65

Article 22: Right of association 303–317 66

Article 23: Protection of the family 318–357 69

Article 24: Rights of the child 358–387 75

Article 25: Right of suffrage 388–402 84

Articles 26 and 27: Right to equal protection of the law and non-discrimination 403–412 87

I. Introduction

1. This regular report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) was prepared in accordance with the consolidated guidelines for State reports under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which replace all earlier versions issued by the Human Rights Committee (CCPR/C/66/GUI/Rev.2).

2. The Philippines signed the Covenant on 19 December 1966, ratified the same on 28 February 1986 and submitted the Instrument of Ratification on 23 October 1986. The treaty entered into force on 23 January 1987, three months after the date of deposit of the Instrument of Ratification. The Philippines submitted its Initial Report to the Committee on 22 March 1988 (CCPR/C/50/Add.1/Rev.1), which was considered by the Committee on 31 March and 03 April 1989.The combined 2nd and 3rd report was submitted to the Committee on 26 August 2002.

3. This report consists of two parts with covering period from 2003 until June 2009. The first part provides information on the current situation in the Philippines. The second part provides specific information relating to the implementation of the provisions of the Covenant.

4. This report provides the background information on laws, policies, programmes and recent developments pertinent to the rights enumerated in the Covenant, the difficulties and problems arising from their implementation, and the prospects for the future.

5. The report was prepared by the Department of Justice (DOJ) as the lead agency in the preparation of the ICCPR report, in coordination with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), as vice-chair of the Presidential Human Rights Committee (PHRC) pursuant to Administrative Order (A.O.) 163, s, 2006 (Strengthening of the Presidential Human Rights Committee).

6. The Report incorporated inputs and information received from the Philippine government agencies, particularly the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and its attached agencies, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Department of National Defense (DND) and its attached agency, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and its attached agency, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and its attached agencies, Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs).

7. The DOJ also conducted consultation meetings with the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP), non-government organizations and civil society organizations such as the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), which is the umbrella organization for all civil and political groups; Human Rights for All Movement; Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances. Other human rights organizations such as, Balay Rehabilitation Center, Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), Families of Involuntary Disappearances (FIND), and Amnesty International were likewise invited.

II. General

A. General information about the reporting State

1. Conditions for human development

8. Attaining the aspirational goal of social progress and better standards of life set by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a serious challenge in a developing country like the Philippines. The Philippines, in particular, is faced by two active armed insurgencies that impact negatively on development. Furthermore, the Philippines is prone to natural disasters and other calamities brought about by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, typhoons and other weather extremes such as the El Nino/La Nina phenomena.

9. Natural disasters and calamities divert scarce resources that otherwise would go to economic development. They can cause a phenomenon called “transient poverty”. Based on the official data from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the share of the population living below the national poverty line from 2000–2006 is 25.1 percent. In terms of human poverty measured by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Poverty Index (HPI), the Philippines performs respectably, ranking 54 among the 144 developing countries.

10. Moreover, based on 2007 data, the latest that was used in the Human Development Report (HDR) 2009, the Philippines ranks 105 out of 182 countries covered by the UNDP-HDR.

Comparative table of Human Development Index (HDI)

Threshold to high human development


Philippine HDI


East Asia and Pacific (HDI average)


Developing countries (HDI average)

High human development


Medium human development


Low human development


World (HDI average)


Lower range of medium human development


11. The Philippines also performs well in other indices covered by the UNDP-HDR as follows:

(a) In terms of inequity in income or expenditure, the Philippine Gini Index of 44.0 is respectable when compared to other countries within and outside the Southeast Asia region;

Comparative table of inequality in income or expenditure index

(Gini Index where 0 = absolute inequality and 100 = absolute equality)



Very high human development (average)


High human development (average)


Medium human development


Low human development


(b) In terms of life expectancy and child mortality, the Philippines have achieved respectable improvements in the life of its people, despite the annual ravages of nature that brings destruction and loss of life. Filipinos can expect a fuller life with higher life expectancy and lower child mortality;

Comparative table of life expectancy and mortality

Life expectancy at birth

East Asia and the Pacific

72.2 years


71.6 years

Developing countries

High human development

72.4 years

Medium human development

66.9 years

Low human development

51 years


67.5 years

(c) In terms of empowerment through education, the Philippines is a model for developing countries with an adult literacy rate of 93.4%, and a gross enrollment ratio of 79.6%. Education has empowered the people. Through education, people are better able to promote and protect their human rights;

Comparative tables on adult literacy and gross enrollment

Adult literacy (1997–2007)



East Asia and the Pacific


Developing countries

High human development


Medium human development


Low human development




Combined gross enrollment ratio (2007)



East Asia and the Pacific


Developing countries

High human development


Medium human development


Low human development




Education-related indicators for school year 2008–2009




Net enrollment rate



Cohort survival rate



Completion rate



(d) In terms of health and sanitation, the 2007 APIS indicated that 88.4 percent of Filipino families have access to sanitary toilets. The APIS data are used as the official data in the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) and in the national reports on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs);

(e) In terms of improved water source, the 2007 APIS indicated that 83% of families have access to safe drinking water;

(f) In terms of improved access to food, the Philippines has reduced the incidence of undernourishment among the population from 26% to 18% between the periods 1990/92 and 2002/04 despite the fact that the Philippines is a net importer of food. The present rate is comparable to the rate developing countries and the world although still below the rate for East Asia and the Pacific.

Comparative table on population undernourished








East Asia and the Pacific




Developing countries








2. Gender and development

12. An important indicator of conditions that guarantee the exercise of human rights under equal terms is the situation of women. There are two models for measuring gender equality, the UNDP model and the World Economic Forum (WEF) model.

13. Based on the Gender Development Index (GDI), the 2009 HDR indicates that Philippines ranks 86th among the 182 countries for which the GDI was computed. In terms of Gender Empowerment Measures (GEM), the Philippines ranks 61st out of 179 countries, based on the UNDP Statistical Update 2008.

Comparative tables for gender-related development index

Life expectancy

Adult literacy

Gross enrollment ratio

Estimated earned income





PPP US$ 3 883





PPP US$ 6 375

In terms of GEM, the Philippines ranks 45 out of 93 countries. Females enjoy a higher ratio of 0.61 than males in estimated earned income. There are more female professional and technical workers, 61% of total, than males. There are also more female legislators, senior officials and managers, 58% of total, than males.

Comparative table for gender empowerment measures

Ratio of estimated female to male earned income


Percent of female professional and technical workers


Percent of female legislators, senior officials and managers


14. The WEF uses a different model — the Gender Gap Index (GGI) — to measure gender inequality using four criteria: economic participation and opportunity; educational attainment; health and survival; and, political empowerment. The WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2007-2008 states that the GGI “points to possible role models by revealing countries that, regardless of the level of resources available, have divided these resources equitably between women and men”.

15. Under the GGI model, the Philippines come out as an unmistakable role model not only for developing countries but also for developed countries as well. Specifically, the Philippines ranked no. 6 out of 130 countries, the only Asian and developing country among the top ten countries, with Sri Lanka following behind at No.12. As stated in the WEF Global Gender Gap Report 2008, “the Philippines (6) and Sri Lanka (12) remain distinctive for being the only Asian countries among the top 20 for the third consecutive year. The Philippines is one of two countries in Asia to have closed the gender gap on both education and health and is one of only eleven in the world to have done so. However, the Philippines’s score relative to its performance in 2007 fell because of a drop in the perceived wage equality between women and men employed in similar positions and a decrease in the percentage of women ministers.”

Philippine ranking under the WEF GGI model


Score (0 = inequality; 1 = equality)







Gender gap index








Educational attainment







Health and survival






Economic participation and opportunity





Political empowerment







B. Constitutional, legislative, judicial and administrative framework governing the implementation of the Convention

1. Legal framework for human rights protection

16. The national normative framework for human rights protection consists of the Constitution, legislation, court decisions or jurisprudence, and customs and traditional practices.

17. The Constitution is the supreme and basic law of the country and provides the general framework and principles by which the State is run. It is the standard on which national legal instruments, government actions and decisions are based and evaluated. Important elements of the Constitution include the Bill of Rights, the articles on human rights and social justice, accountability of public officers, citizenship, suffrage, national economy and patrimony.

18. The Constitution provides for the establishment and separation of powers of the three major branches of government – the Executive, Judiciary, and a bi-cameral Legislature. It specifies the mandates and powers of the major institutions responsible for human rights promotion and protection.

19. The Constitution provides that, “The Congress shall give highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good” (Article XIII, Section 1).

2. Specific Constitutional provisions on the promotion and protection of human rights

20. The 1987 Philippine Constitution declared as a policy that the “State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights” (art. 2, section 11). It is also the national policy to protect the right to health of the people (art. 2, section 15) as well as their right to a balanced and healthful ecology (art. 2, section 16). The State is mandated to protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare (art. 2, section 18) and to guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service (art. 2, section 26).

21. Everyone’s right to equality before the law in the enjoyment of civil, political and social rights is enshrined in the all-embracing Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution (art. 3). To strengthen the Governments concern for the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the Constitution also mandates the Congress of the Philippines to give the “highest priority to the enactment of measures that protect and enhance the right of all the people to human dignity, reduce social, economic and political inequalities and remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the common good” (art. 13, section 1). The “promotion of social justice shall include the commitment to create economic opportunities based on freedom of initiative and self-reliance” (art. 13, section 2).

22. For the first time, the State declared as a national policy that it “recognizes and promotes the rights of indigenous cultural communities within the framework of national unity and development” (art. 2, section 22).

23. Subject to the provisions of the 1987 Constitution, the State is also mandated to “protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to their ancestral lands to ensure their economic, social and cultural well-being” (art. 12, section 5). The same provision states that “Congress may provide for the applicability of customary laws governing property rights or relations in determining the ownership and extent of ancestral domain”. The State shall also “recognize, respect, and protect the rights of indigenous cultural communities to preserve and develop their cultures, traditions, and institutions” and shall consider these rights in the formulation of national plans and policies” (art. 14, section 17).

24. Furthermore, the Constitution mandated the creation of “Autonomous Regions in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and in the Cordilleras (Cordillera Administrative Region) consisting of provinces, cities, municipalities and geographical areas sharing common and distinctive historical and cultural heritage, economic and social structures and other relevant characteristics within the framework of this Constitution and the national sovereignty as well as territorial integrity of the Republic of the Philippines” (art. 10, section 15-21).

25. The Constitution emphasized that the special attention given to the indigenous cultural communities should not be taken as an indication that they are treated separately from the rest of the population. Rather it is intended to ensure that their cultural identity and interests are acknowledged and that as Filipinos, they are drawn within the protective mantle of the fundamental law of the land.

26. Finally, the Constitution provided for the creation of the Commission on Human Rights (art. 13, section 17). The Commission is an independent body which is mandated by the Constitution to investigate on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations, including those involving civil and political rights. The Commission is also responsible for the provision of appropriate legal measures for the protection of the human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos living abroad, and for the provision of preventive measures and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection.

27. The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent and fiscally-autonomous body created by the Constitution as the “people’s champion” responsible for the investigation and prosecution of graft and corruption cases against those holding public office, including men in uniform.

28. The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) is a vigilant and vocal guardian of human rights including civil and political rights, holding public hearings, conducting investigations and issuing advisories on specific cases and national issues such as the protection of human rights even during a state of national emergency. It provides assistance to victims, recommends cases for prosecution, and monitors the progress of cases through the criminal justice system.

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