Speaking in Manila today (24 January), Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, commended the Philippines for the country’s leading role within the region in terms of human rights legislation. He also pledged to assist the Philippines in further improvements to the human rights situation. The Commissioner issued the following statement:
“We see the Philippines as an important partner on human rights issues – in the world and in the region, where the country is taking a leading role. I recognize and welcome the committed work President Aquino is doing to improve the justice system and thus bring about long-term improvements in the human rights situation. I have therefore pledged him the support of the German Government in this field.”
The talks Mr Löning has held have been marked by consensus on the considerable need for the Philippines to continue reforming the justice system and on the size of the problem that extralegal killings still pose for the country.
Markus Löning is visiting the Philippines from 21 to 25 January. Part of the reason for his visit is a request from Leila de Lima, Philippine Secretary of Justice and known defender of human rights, that the German Government assist the Philippines in implementing structures to uphold the rule of law. Mr Löning’s visit includes talks with President Aquino, Foreign Affairs Secretary Romulo and Justice Secretary de Lima.