By Argyll Cyrus Geducos and Dhel Nazario
Malacañang rejected the adoption by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) of Iceland’s resolution urging the body to present a comprehensive report on President Duterte’s drug war.
The UNHRC adopted Iceland’s resolution, voting 18 for and 14 against with 15 abstentions.
The resolution formally requests UN High Commisioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet “to prepare a comprehensive written report” on the human rights situation in the country.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo called Iceland’s resolution as one-sided, narrow, and partisan, adding that it demonstrates how Western countries are “scornful” of the Philippines’ sovereign exercise of protecting its people.
“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,” he said.
‘Intrusive abuse is patent’
“Their intrusive abuse is patent and condemnable. It smacks of politicization designed to force our free state to be subservient to their imagined superiority,” he added.
The Palace official also said that 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,” Panelo said.
“Any attempt to undermine our sovereignty will 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,” he added.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the government rejects the resolution and will not abide by it.
‘So detached from the truth’
“It [Philippines] cannot, in good conscience, abide by it. We will not accept a politically partisan and one-sided resolution, so detached from the truth on the ground. It comes straight from the mouth of the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, ‘First the judgment, then the proof’,” Locsin said in a statement on Thursday.
“It does not represent the will of the Council, much less that of the developing countries who are always the target of such resolutions. Western countries pushed for this resolution in the confidence that the world has forgotten what they did and what should have been done to them had there been a Human Rights Council,” Locsin’s statement read.
Locsin also said on Twitter that the resolution, co-sponsored by 27 other member-states of the UN, will have no effect.
“Such resolutions, especially those passed by a tiny minority, can and will be ignored,” he said on Twitter.
He, however, warned that the “initiative to insult the Philippines with the assumption without proof that it commits gross abuses there will be far reaching consequences.”
‘Filipinos satisfied with Duterte’
Panelo also argued that the adoption of the resolution is also offensive and insulting to the Filipinos who are satisfied with the kind of “forceful and effective governance” of 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,” Panelo 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.
According to Panelo, the Duterte administration is not cowed by such resolution.
“This 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 said.
Panelo also questioned the propriety of the resolution as well as its validity, saying it is based on false information and unverified facts and figures. He also said that 18 out of 47 countries was not the simple majority, claiming that it should have been 24 countries.
“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 voting also shows the resolution did not get the unanimous approval of the member countries, nor did it get the nod of the 29 other countries. Fourteen members rejected outright the resolution, while the 15 members did not lend their names to it,” he added.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon called on the Duterte administration to keep an open mind and display statesmanship.
“Let (us) project statesmanship and maturity as a country. Let’s keep an open mind, not shut doors to international bodies objectively looking into the issue,” Drilon said.
“We will rise to the challenge and the challenge is to improve the human rights situation in the country,” he added.
Opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan called on the government to cooperate with the UNHRC investigation on the situation of human rights in the country, while detained opposition Senator Leila de Lima commended UN body for its adoption of the Iceland-initiated resolution.
“I appeal to everyone to make the Resolution work, and to continue soldiering on to shrink the space for impunity in the Philippines, and to widen the windows of justice for the victims of mass murder and other abuses against our people,” De Lima said.
“It was a courageous act of solidarity and humanity of those who supported the resolution,” opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros said. (With reports from Mario B. Casayuran and Vanne P. Terrazola)