Duterte mulling Philippines’ withdrawal from UN rights body
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is studying the Philippines’ possible withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) after it adopted an Iceland-led resolution seeking a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the country, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo issued the statement after Senate President Vicente Sotto III raised the possibility that the country may follow the lead of the United States, which withdrew from the UNHRC in 2018.
Last week, the 48-member UNHRC adopted an Iceland resolution, which urged the human rights body to investigate alleged violations of human rights in the Philippines amid the killings linked to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
Asked if the President is considering the pullout, Panelo told radio station dwFM: “Wala pa siyang sinasabi, pero pinag-aaralan siguro niya (He hasn’t said anything yet, I think he is studying the matter).”
Foreign Affairs Secretary Tedoro Locsin Jr., however, earlier said that the Philippines will not cut ties with the UNHRC and Iceland.
Last March, the Philippines withdrew its ratification of the Rome Statute, the treaty that formed the International Criminal Court (ICC) after it moved to conduct a preliminary examination on administration’s brutal war on drugs.
The Duterte administration maintains that the ICC never acquired jurisdiction over the Philippines, pointing to the non-publication of the Rome Statute in the government’s Official Gazette.
Panelo also announced Monday night that Duterte is “seriously considering” cutting ties with Iceland. /gsg
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