By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang has shifted its tirade from the European Union (EU) to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) after learning the regional bloc had nothing to do with supposed threat to move for the expulsion of the country from the United Nations.
This time, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella slammed the “self-styled human rights watchdog” for its criticisms on the government, dismissing its warning about the country’s UN membership as “unwarranted nuisance.”
“The Human Rights Watch (HRW), a self-styled HR watchdog, has accused the Philippines of violating its membership obligations and threatens to call for the Philippines to be delisted from the UNHRC,” Abella said in a statement.
“The only basis for suspension of privileges of members of the UNHRC is for the concerned member to have committed ‘gross and systematic violations of human rights,’ he added.
Abella claimed that any suspension of a member is decided upon by the UNHRC but a 2/3 vote of the members of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) present and voting.
“This is what is said in paragraph 8 of A/Res/251, the UNGA resolution that established the UNHRC,” he said.
Abella likewise shrugged off any possibility of the country’s removal from the UNHRC, citing its recent adoption of the country’s report on human rights record.
“The UNHRC unanimously accepted and commended the Outcome Report on the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) — a decision undermined by HRW,” he said.
“Thus, the noise from HRW amounts to nothing more than unwarranted nuisance,” he added.