Locsin: ‘UN is not free to interfere with the state’
MANILA, Philippines — “The UN is not free to interfere with the state and its defining function of protecting its citizens and stamping out its threats,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Saturday at the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
“The nations herein united should not let this platform be used to threaten others with accountability for taking a tough approach to crime,” he added, alluding to the Duterte administration’s bloody campaign against illegal drugs that had drawn much criticism from Filipinos and foreigners alike.
Touching on the issue of illegal drugs in the Philippines, Locsin said: “The aspiration of the vast majority of my people today — call them shortsighted or just plain wrong — is to be free of drugs and safe from crime. Is that so hard to understand? It seems impossible for some to accept.”
Meanwhile, he also hit Western countries’ approach to crime.
“Instead of taking seriously what they cannot: The Western proposition that the sure-fire way to end crime is to legalize it,” Locsin said.
“Well, that works after a fashion: not to punish lawbreakers but sit down and talk them out of repeating the only thing at which they are any good: crime,” he added.
In July, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution that would prompt the body to look deeply into the human rights situation in the Philippines, including drug war killings.
The resolution received 18 affirmative votes, 14 negative votes, and 15 abstentions.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier confirmed the existence of a confidential memorandum terminating all financial assistance from the 18 countries that voted to approve the UNHRC resolution.
The ban on loans, aid, and grants from these countries would stay “pending the assessment of our relations with these countries” and would remain in effect until lifted by the Office of the President, the memo noted.
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