Marcos, Lacson warn against withdrawing from UN agency

Published July 16, 2019, 5:39 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Mario Casayuran 

Neophyte Senator Maria Imelda Josefa ‘’Imee’’ R. Marcos said Tuesday the Philippines should not withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC).


Withdrawal by the Philippine government had been intimated by Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. following a resolution by the Iceland government seeking an investigation into killings associated with the Duterte administration’s campaign against the multi-billion-peso illegal drugs industry.

‘’No. Wag tayo aalis (we should not leave UNCHR.) We are not United States,’’ Marcos said, referring to the withdrawal of the US government from the UNHRC.

Marcos cautioned that the Philippines would lose its voice in the world body.

She explained that the countries that voted for the UNHRC resolution sponsored by Iceland meant that Philippine ambassadors have not been instructed by the DFA to lobby and ‘’give our side of the story.’’

Marcos said Locsin ‘’just relied on our permanent representative to Geneva (Switzerland) to do the lobbying.’’

‘’We could still lobby the countries who voted against us to change their vote. Most of those who voted against us are EU (European Union) members. Of course, we shouldn’t offend them unnecessarily,’’ she said.

‘’Plus all is not lost- we can still lobby the South Americans – Argentina, Peru and Mexico – to change their votes,’’ she added.

Marcos asked aloud why the Philippines has not moved fast to counter the resolution that ‘’was long in making and why it did not see it coming and take action?’’

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said: ‘’At the rate we are withdrawing from the UN bodies, it could only be a matter of time when we will be left to our own devices.

‘’We would not know when, what and how, but being a developing country, we may need to ask for help from the community of nations sooner or later.’’

But Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III said he favors the Philippines leaving the UNHRC just like what the US did in June last year.

The US, according to Sotto, was left unscathed when it left that UN body.