The 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Malacañan Palace has condemned the UN Human Rights Council’s decision to probe and report on thousands of drug war killings in the Philippines.
Echoing Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Philippines was insulted by a minority of countries in the 47-member council that voted in favor of a resolution introduced by Iceland.
Eighteen countries voted in favor, 14 were against and 15 abstained during the 41st session of the rights council in Geneva.
Among those who voted against the resolution, introduced by Iceland, was China and a number of African and Middle Eastern countries. The Philippine delegation voted “no.”
Aside from Iceland, those who voted “yes” included Argentina, Austria, Australia, Denmark, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the United Kingdom. Japan, a major trading partner, abstained.
“We question the propriety of the resolution as well as its validity. The subject resolution not only was not unanimously adopted, but it didn’t even get a simple majority of the 47 countries,” Panelo said.
Panelo said those who sided with Iceland were “led astray by the continuing and relentless false news, published by a few biased media in the country and elsewhere,” and pointed to President Rodrigo Duterte’s high approval ratings.
“The resolution is grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan. It reeks of nauseating politics completely devoid of respect for the sovereignty of our country, even as it is bereft of the gruesome realities of the drug menace in the country,” he added.
Locsin issued a threat following Thursday’s vote as he argued that the Western countries that voted against the Philippines got away with historic human rights violations.
“Western countries pushed for this resolution in the confidence that the world has forgotten what they did and what should have been done to them had there been a Human Rights Council. It was pushed with the arrogance that developing countries must not stand up to them even if we can and as we hereby do. There will be consequences,” he said.
“But we will not engage in throwing at each other the bodies of each side’s respective victims. We cannot compete with the West,” he added.
Duterte on Thursday told reporters the UN probers would be allowed to investigate but they must state their intention.
“Let them state their purpose and I will,” he said.
“Dagdag lang sila sa intriga (They’ll only add to the intrigue). They better go to the media and the media will tell them the truth. E ipalabas ninyo ‘yung footages ninyong lahat (show all your footages) and all, and that will clear everybody,” he added.
‘Duterte risks international isolation’
Militant group Bayan said the government should abide by the resolution and stop issuing threats, or risk becoming a pariah among nations.
“The UN resolution should not be deemed a form of intervention since it merely holds the Philippines to its treaty obligations on human rights,” it said in a statement. “Greater pressure is needed to hold Duterte accountable for the deaths of thousands.” (PressONE.ph)