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Ex-DFA exec heads Rakhine inquiry

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The Philippines yesterday welcomed the establishment by Myanmar of an Independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate alleged human rights violations in the Rakhine State.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, likewise, welcomed the appointment of former Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rosario Manalo as head of the independent commission.

“The Philippines has maintained its expression of concern over the situation in the Rakhine State, including in ASEAN and has also consistently welcomed the commitment expressed by Myanmar authorities in addressing this complex issue,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said.

Cayetano issued the statement from Singapore where he was attending the 51st Association of Southeast Asian Nation Ministerial Meeting.

“The Philippines, thus, considers the establishment of the commission to be a positive step towards addressing the situation,” Cayetano said.

The Philippines is pleased to contribute to efforts to address the situation in Myanmar and welcomes the appointment of Ambassador Manalo as Chairman of the Commission, he said.
Manalo was the former chairman and currently the representative of the Philippines to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

The appointment was a recognition not only of her credentials but also her lifelong work in the field of human rights within and outside the region, the DFA chief said.

“The Philippines wishes Ambassador Manalo well and her equally esteemed colleagues in the Commission, as they set out on this important endeavor,” the Secretary said.

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