Harry Roque, Jr. advises the government to not pay too much attention to UNHRC

By Marjaleen Ramos

Former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. advised on Thursday the Philippine government to not pay too much attention to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) adopted resolution that seeks to probe the human rights situation in the country.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque speaks during a press briefing at the New Executive Building in Malacanang, Friday. (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN) Former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. (CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

"My advice to the Philippine government at this point is not to give it too much attention," Roque said in an interview with ANC Headstart.

He said that the said resolution to probe the country's war on drugs does not have overwhelming support by the UNHRC itself.

READ MORE: UNHRC adopts Iceland’s resolution by a slim margin of votes

"Number one, the voting record doesn't show it has overwhelming support. Number two, it's a toothless tiger," he said.

Roque added that the agency has lost its credibility through international politicking.

“My position is to just let it be. The resolution itself has no moral authority. The institution itself has no power to jail anyone. It doesn’t even have a function to impose sanctions to anyone,” he said.

He also said that the UNHRC’s mandate is achieved through the periodic record of states and rapporteurs.

"I don't think it's wise to withdraw from the UNHRC because if you do that, you will lose whatever voice you have in the council itself."

Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin earlier said he “never considered for a second cutting diplomatic ties with Iceland.”

Locsin said that Manila would not tolerate any form of disrespect and that the government would retain its UNHRC membership and will continue to work with the body, citing the Philippines “must remain true to the cause of human rights.”

READ MORE: PH won't cut ties with UNHRC – Locsin