Sotto: PH may pull out of UN due to Iceland resolution
MANILA, Philippines — Instead of just leaving the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the Philippines may consider withdrawing from the UN altogether.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III raised the possibility on Monday after Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. insinuated that the Philippines may follow the lead of the United States, which withdrew from the UNHRC in 2018.
“No embassy in Iceland. Nor does Iceland have an embassy here. Iceland took the place of the US after it withdrew from the Human Rights Council. I think we need to follow America more,” Locsin said in a Twitter post over the weekend.
“That’s precisely what the US did,” Sotto said in an interview at the Senate. “They have dismembered themselves from the UNHRC and the reason they gave is that it’s hypocritical and self-serving group and it’s making a mockery of human rights.”
“So I will not be surprised if Secretary Locsin will follow suit considering the way they were all of a sudden handling a resolution from Iceland, not even getting the majority of the members of those present in the quorum and saying that it’s a UNHRC resolution,” he said.
Last week, the 48-member UNHRC adopted an Iceland resolution, seeking a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines.
But Sotto noted that only 18 countries voted in favor of the resolution, while 14 were against it and 15 abstained from voting.
Those who abstained, he said, should be counted as against the resolution.
“They should review their rules because the rules that they are following are illogical,” said the Senate leader.
Because of these “illogical” rules, Sotto said he would be “supportive of any decision that Secretary Locsin will arrive at.”
“As a matter of fact, baka gusto niyang [Locsin] buuin pati UN na mismo,” the senator said.
“It’s up to the DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] because last year, we paid the UN $8.2 million mandatory contribution. We’ll be saving the country P445 million a year if we detach ourselves from the UN,” Sotto added.
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.