Two UN experts recommend dismantling of NTF-Elcac

This article is available in PilipinoBisayaHiligaynonIloco

Two United Nation (UN) experts now recommend the dissolution of the National Task Force-Elcac for the harm it has caused to the rights of the Filipino people. On January 2, Irene Khan, UN Special Rapporteur on free expression, recommended it after her 10-day investigation in the Philippines.

Before her, Ian Fry, UN Special Rapporteur, also recommended the dismantling of the agency on November 2023 to uphold and defend human rights in the context of climate change. Like Khan, Fry met with various democratic sectors in the country.

For Khan’s part, she focused on practices that affect free expression such as Red-tagging, harassment and intimidation using laws. In her statement, she called for the dissolution of the NTF-Elcac, which she said is “outdated” and “the promoter” of Red-tagging. Khan also recommended “unblocking” or removing restrictions against progressive websites imposed by the reactionary state.

These recommendations come from Khan’s dialogue with various media groups and other democratic sectors, and even with state officials and armed forces. She also visited the imprisoned journalist Frenchie May Cumpio of the independent media Eastern Vista and two others jailed in Tacloban.

Besides Manila, Khan went to the cities of Baguio, Cebu, Tacloban and Davao. Democratic organizations welcomed her there. They launched pickets and discussions regarding Khan’s arrival in the Philippines.

Two UN experts recommend dismantling of NTF-Elcac