By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Friday slammed the countries that favored the adoption of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution calling for a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines.
Sotto branded the 18 countries who voted for the Iceland-initiated resolution as “tolerant” of illegal drugs.
“Those countries supporting the Iceland reso are probably dangerous drugs tolerant,” Sotto said in a text message when asked to comment on the UNHRC-adopted resolution.
The Senate chief said western countries cannot “lecture” the Philippines about human rights as he noted their laws allowing abortion.
“Before the UN, US, and western countries investigate so-called extra-judicial killings here, they should tell us how many hundreds of thousands of babies they abort. Ano yun, walang rights (Do they not have rights)? They have no moral high ground to lecture us,” Sotto followed.
Sotto said the Philippines should “disregard” the resolution passed by “biased” countries.
On Twitter, the staunch anti-illegal drugs advocate maintained his position against drug pushers.
“When you sell illegal drugs and destroy lives and families, you lose your human rights!” Sotto posted.
During its 41st session in Geneva, the UNHRC adopted the resolution urging the body to come up with a “comprehensive written report” on the state of human rights in the Philippines amid the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
Aside from Iceland, the resolution was supported by Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Uruguay.
Fourteen state-members, on the other hand, voted against the resolution, while 15 abstained.
The report also called on the Philippine government to “take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to carry out impartial investigations and to hold perpetrators accountable, in accordance with international norms and standards, including on due process and the rule of law.”
Like Sotto, Senator Panfilo Lacson also believes that the UNHRC resolution was unnecessary since Philippine government agencies can do what the body asks from the country.
“We have a functioning criminal justice system that deals with erring law enforcers. We regularly provide our Human Rights Commission the budget they need to perform their mandate. Obviously, we can manage without the intervention of the UN Human Rights Council,” Lacson said.