By Mario Casayuran
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said Monday that the Philippines, being a member of the United Nations (UN) in good standing, should respect and welcome any official act of the international body.
Lacson’s position is diametrically opposed to a statement of Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III who said the government should just ignore calls for a UN probe into the controversial campaign against illegal drugs of the Duterte government.
Lacson, chairman of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee, however, said the proposed probe was only a recommendation made by the so-called experts on human rights.
‘’Whether it will be given due course by the UNHRC (UN Human Rights Council) is another matter,’’ he explained.
Sotto said the request of 11 human rights experts to investigate the drug war in the Philippines is confusing, pointing out that there are ‘’worse’’ killings in other countries that deserve their attention.
The Senate chief said the call for an international inquiry was undermining the country’s domestic laws.
Sotto said that while the anti-illegal drug operation of the Duterte administration was lacking, it was something that the previous administration failed to address in six years that it was in power.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. had belittled the call of several international human rights experts for the UN to establish an independent investigation on the seriousness of human rights situation in the Philippines.
‘’And it is the same old call from the same old suspects. Next. And please bring it on,’’ he added.
Opposition Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, said a UN probe was badly needed as thousands of Filipinos are being killed and continue to be killed daily in the administration’s illegal drugs campaign.
The Philippines, being a member of the UN, has the duty and responsibility to follow international treaties such as the UNHCR and international covenant of civil and political rights, according to Pangilinan.
“What is taking place in the Philippines is mass murder because some 30,000 have so far been killed since the Duterte administration took over Malacanang starting July, 2016,” he pointed out.
And the count continues, he added.