PH defends vote for Palestinian statehood


Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday defended its vote in favor of the UN General Assembly resolution upgrading Palestine’s observer status at the world body.

The DFA said that the country is “supportive of the two-state solution to the issue of Palestine and Israel” and that it should not have a negative impact on the country’s relations with the United States.

“We are supportive of the two-state solution to the issue of Palestine and Israel and we are hoping that one day Palestine will be able to live independently and peacefully with its neighbor in that part of the world,” DFA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez told reporters.

With a vote of 138-9 and 41 abstentions, the UN General Assembly approved last week the resolution upgrading the Palestinians’ status to a non-member observer state.

Meanwhile, Hernandez also noted that the country was keeping its temporary ban on the deployment of new hires to Israel, as well as its travel advisories to the region, “until we are confident that there are no more risks as far as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) there are concerned.”

The DFA had earlier responded to a statement made by Israel Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-On criticizing the ban, citing an improved security situation amid the ceasefire agreed on Nov. 21 between Israeli and Hamas forces.

In its statement, the DFA noted that the government had the “sovereign duty and prerogative to protect all its nationals.”

When asked about the DFA’s assessment of the situation of the Filipinos in Gaza, Hernandez said that so far the ceasefire was holding and that authorities from the country’s embassy continued to prioritize the safety of the people. He noted however that no Filipino had expressed intentions to leave the area.

The DFA had placed parts of Israel on alert levels that barred the deployment of new hires. Alert level 2 was hoisted over central and southern Israel, while alert level 4 was called over Hamas-controlled Gaza.

An advisory was also issued warning Filipinos against traveling to Gaza and to defer travel to Central and Southern Israel.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, for his part, appealed for understanding from sectors seeking the lifting of the ban.

“We hope they will understand that lives are at risk, including those of Filipinos,” he said.

“But once the situation at the Gaza Strip has cleared and a ceasefire is put in place, then the Philippine government will consider lifting the ban as long as we don’t put the lives of Filipinos at risk,” he added.

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  • DakuAkongUtin

    Recognition of the Palestinian People’s right to independence is the right dirrection for the Philippines. Making peace with our muslim Moros in Mindanao is like recognizing the Palestines as well. THis is a sincere gesture to all muslims near and far who have legitimate aspirations to be free and independent. Their struggle to be free is the cause why the world all over is fighting bec they fight . We have come to realize its futile to put them asunder for every people have rights to self determination.
    THe sing song of Israel as the sole bearer of Palestine is but an  old ballad that  doesnt attract sympathy. We ve seen how Jews kill  Palestinians with overwhelmng force. THat is not right .

    • Shaque Quesha

      nalaman ko rin kung papaano pinupulbos ng palestinian rockets ang israel araw-araw…  3000 rockets since the first of the year…And no one cared until Israel decided to fight back… at buti na lang ang israel ay may iron dome kaya walang gaanong casualties… God loves Israel ! walang makakatalo sa kanila….
      we know that Palestinian bows to annihilate all the Jews… so it is not good for the philippines… wrong move by the philippines

  • seweldy

    God told Abraham the patrioch of the Israelis; “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you”…. bring it on Al-Quaida…Hamas… Persia… Libya… Togomar…. Cush… Egypt… Russia (Gog)… God says I will turn thee back and leave 1/6 of you…even a 200 million army from the kings of the east will not succeed in anihilating Israel…every mans sword shall be against his brother.

  • ThadeusSimon

    “The UN resolution completely ignored Israel’s security needs. It didn’t require the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish state. It didn’t even call on it to end the conflict with Israel. And this is why it was unacceptable to Israel, and that is why, too, it has been unacceptable to all responsible members of the international community. Our conflict with the Palestinians will be resolved only through direct negotiations that address the needs of both Israelis and Palestinians. It will not be resolved through one-sided resolutions of the UN that ignore Israel’s vital needs and undermine the basic foundation for peace.” – Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Prime Minister. 

    “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curses you.” (Genesis (12:3)

  • Virgilio B. Zamora

    Is it possible to bribe diplomats to vote for a UN resolution? How can the people of the country they represent check these diplomats? Since, these votes are in the name of the country – then it would only be fair that others be heard and vote on the issue. The technology we have can allow these exchange to happen and come up with a consensus rather than unilateral moves which are indefensible.

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