Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo.

Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo on Monday agreed with the suggestion of Sen. Imee Marcos for the Philippines to cut ties with Iceland, for intruding in Philippine affairs.

But the decision to cut diplomatic ties with the proponent of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution calling for a probe into the war on drugs, lies ultimately with President Rodrigo Duterte.

It was also up to Duterte to decide on whether or not the Philippines should remain in the council following its narrow vote to approve Iceland’s resolution, Panelo said.

“Not [a] bad [idea]. If they are making a declaration that’s against our sovereignty, and they are interfering in the government’s actions to destroy drug syndicates in our country that are ruining our families and our nation, maybe that’s needed,” the spokesman said in Filipino, in response to a query on whether the Philippines should cut ties with Iceland.

Ask how such move would affect the Philippines, Panelo said the country’s relations with Iceland was practically negligible.

Ano bang relasyon natin sa Iceland in the first place. Halos wala naman tayong … ni wala tayong embassy doon, ni walang ano sila rito e (What is our relations with Iceland in the first place? We practically do not have… we don’t even have an embassy there, they don’t have anything here),” he said.

“All of that are taken into consideration. [We will look at] … what is the best interest for the country, we will pursue,” he added.

Panelo also backed Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s statement that the Philippines should leave the UN rights council.

“That is my opinion. I support the stand of Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, but in the ultimate analysis as the chief architect of the foreign policy of this country, then it’s the call of the President,” he said.

The resolution is not legally binding in the first place, and only a minority, 18 countries, out of the 47-member council, were in favor of it, Panelo said.

“We have the authority to allow entry or deny entry to all foreigners in this country,” he said.

‘Hysterical what-aboutism’

Detained senator Leila de Lima on Monday called Locsin’s response to the Geneva resolution “hysterical,” for raising historic human rights violations of Western countries.

“In his hysterical response to the UNHRC Resolution, Locsin reminds us of the history of atrocities of the West while conveniently forgetting the Philippine State’s past and present crimes against its own people. Whether committed under Marcos or Duterte, these crimes against the Filipino people belie Locsin’s claim of an ‘unblemished’ human rights record for the Philippines. Locsin cannot be ignorant of this,” de Lima said in a dispatch from her detention cell in Camp Crame.

“What he is actually telling the West and those who voted for the UNHRC Resolution is this: ‘You had your own human rights violations perpetrated in the past by your own countries, we therefore reserve our right to commit the same human rights violations against our own people,’” she added.

“This ‘what-aboutism’ betrays the hypocritical and self-serving nature of Locsin’s argument against the UNHRC Resolution. He posits that States have a right to murder their own people, and that Europe and the West should adopt a quid-pro-quo attitude now that it is third world countries who are committing the same crimes against their people,” the senator said.

“This is fascist thinking to the core, and it disappoints us so much that Locsin has gone so far down the rabbit hole he can no longer recognize the character he actually plays in this nightmarish ‘Wonderland’ created by his boss.” (