Palace slams ‘one-sided’ UNHRC resolution on rights situation in Philippines
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday condemned as “maliciously partisan” a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution to look into the human rights situation in the Philippines amid the country’s bloody war on drugs.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Philippine government “objects and condemns the resolution of Iceland” favored by 17 other countries, citing that it was “based on false information and unverified facts and figures.”
During the 41st session of the UNHRC in Geneva, 14 voted no and 15 states abstained.
“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,” Panelo said in a statement.
“We question the propriety of the resolution as well as its validity,” he added.
The resolution, he said, “not only was not unanimously adopted, but it didn’t even get a simple majority of the 47 countries.”
The voting is not decisive in its favor, he added, citing that only 18 countries out of the 47 member-countries voted for the resolution.
The voting, he said also showed “the resolution did not get the unanimous approval of the member countries, nor did it get the nod of the 29 other countries.”
According to him, a simple majority would have been 24.
“This means that majority of the members are not really convinced of the resolution calling for the investigation of the so-called extra-judicial killings in our country,” he said.
The other 17 countries who backed the resolution, Panelo said, “certainly have been misled by Iceland, which in turn was led astray by the continuing and relentless false news, published by a few biased media in the country and elsewhere.”
“It is offensive and insulting to the sensibilities of the 81% of the Filipino people who expressed satisfaction on the kind of forceful and effective governance that [Duterte] has given them,” he said.
“The resolution demonstrates how the Western powers are scornful of our sovereign exercise of protecting our people from the scourge of prohibited drugs that threaten to destroy the fabric of our society. Their intrusive abuse is patent and condemnable,” he said.
“It smacks of politicization designed to force our free state to be subservient to their imagined superiority,” he added.
Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said “the resolution was designed to embarrass the Philippines before the international community and the global audience.”
“The Philippines is a sovereign state, undeserving of any intrusion by any country, under whatever disguised lofty principle it advances,” he added.
“Any attempt to undermine our sovereignty,” he also said, would “receive an uproarious rejection from our countrymen, it being a naked affront to their authority to run their domestic affairs they deem fit under the prevailing circumstances.”
PH not cowed
Panelo said “the Duterte presidency is not cowed or weakened by such resolution,” citing survey results that majority of Filipinos still trust the President.
“The consistent results of periodic independent surveys, showing the unprecedented support given to the unique style of leadership of this President, are a repudiation of those who disagree or question his methodology in dismantling the apparatus of the drug syndicate,” he said.
“The overwhelming majority of the Filipino electorate, who mercilessly crushed the intellectual and nationalist pretensions of those who peddled the bogus news, untruthful accounts and vicious propaganda on the President’s campaign against illegal drugs, are grossly and thoroughly insulted by the resolution that echoes such falsities,” he added.
Despite earlier saying that he would not allow UN investigators to probe his drug war and the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country, Duterte told reporters Thursday he would study the possibility to let investigators in the country.
“In any case, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has already spoken. He will be reviewing the intent of the proposed investigation and will decide thereafter on whether to permit the same to proceed or not,” he said.
“Should it proceed impartially,” Panelo said, “we are certain that its result will only lead to the humiliation of the investigators, as well as of Iceland and the 17 other nations supporting it, since there never have been – nor will there ever be – state-sponsored killings in this part of the world.”
He said the Duterte administration “remains unwavering and unstoppable in its continuing campaign to provide a safe environment for every Filipino.”
“The Chief Executive will be unyielding in his constitutional duty to serve the general welfare of the citizenry, protect the Filipino people from the peril spawned by illegal drugs, and to fiercely preserve the Republic from the enemies of the state,” he added. /muf
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