CORRECTION: Cayetano hits Iceland, 10 other countries: They prefer ‘misinformation’ than the truth
(Updated to correct that Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano was referring only to Iceland and 10 other countries and not the United Nations Human Rights Council.)
The Department of Foreign Affairs fired back at Iceland and 10 other members of the 47-member United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) that said the Philippines should assess its human rights situation.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Sunday that he was saddened by their stand despite the invitation given by the Philippines to them.
“We regret that Iceland and several other countries maintained their position despite our offer for them to visit the Philippines and objectively asses the human rights situation, especially at the community level,” Cayetano said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, it seems our friends are really not interested in arriving at the truth and would rather rely on the misinformation being fed to them by parties that have politicized and weaponized human rights,” he added.
According to Cayetano, he himself invited Iceland Foreign Minister Gudlaugur Thor Thordarson to visit Manila to check the situation of human rights in the country.
“Politics is politics but politicizing human rights endangers lives,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano is currently in New York to preside over a command conference for Filipino diplomats from the Americas.
The said countries earlier declared in a joint statement that they were “encouraged by reports that the Government of the Philippines has indicated a willingness to cooperate with the U.N. to allow an objective assessment of the human rights situation in the country.”
“We urge the Government of the Philippines to cooperate with the United Nations system—including the Human Rights Council and its special procedure mandate holders—without preconditions or limitations,” the group added.
However, Malacañang said on Saturday that the government has been doing its job as it has been proactive in looking into cases of abuses. /cbb
READ: Palace to UNHRC: We have been proactive in looking out vs HR abuses
Subscribe to our global nation newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.