By Genalyn Kabiling
No resolution endorsed by a small faction in the United Nations rights body would weaken the government’s resolve to protect the people from the threats of illegal drugs and criminality, Malacañang declared Monday.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has dismissed the Iceland-led resolution seeking a report on the drug war as “a pernicious act, an affront to a sovereign, peace-loving nation, and abuse of UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council) processes.”
“This unfortunate development notwithstanding, the Philippine government shall continue with its work of ensuring peace, order and security for our people. We shall remain unrelenting in our campaign against illegal drugs, corruption, criminality, and terrorism,” he said in a statement issued Monday night.
“And no resolution from any international council, especially those led by States that are misinformed about the situation in our country, shall weaken our resolve to effectively protect our people’s lives, their properties and their freedoms,” he added.
Medialdea said the government rejects “in the strongest terms” the resolution adopted by the UNHRC that seeks a report on the alleged killings in relation to the anti-drug campaign.
He said it was unfortunate the 18 countries who voted in favor of the resolution have “unceremoniously” grabbed the UN platform to call out the country’s human rights situation without verifying facts on the ground. The faction consisting of a mere 18 countries was “a small group relative to the 47-strong membership of the Council, and smaller still in view of the total UN membership of 193 countries,” he added.
“We reject this resolution because, through it, a minority has short-circuited and rendered inutile the time-honored mechanisms by which the UN maintains the accountability of member-states, such as the treaty body system and the UNHRC’s Universal Periodic Review,” Medialdea said.
He argued that the country has abided by the UN mechanisms that give due credence to member-states’ accountability and transparency. “It is through such mechanisms that the human rights concerns mentioned in the resolution should have been taken up, verified and addressed,” he added.
Medialdea has urged the international community to listen more to the Filipino people instead of a few political groups about the country’s rights situation.
“The Philippines is entering a historical era in its governance that is anchored on the genuine protection of the right to human life, liberty and property. The efforts of this Administration towards that end, supported by the judgment of over 80 percent of Filipinos emphatically expressing approval of the current Administration, shall not be disrupted by baseless conjectures from influential political interest groups which have clearly misinformed the states supporting this resolution,” he said.
“In this regard, we call on the diplomatic community to listen more to the Filipino people, rather than let a few political organizations mislead your capitals as to the real state of human rights in our country,” he added.
The UN body earlier adopted the Iceland resolution to look into the Philippines’ human rights situation, including the drug-related killings. Eighteen nations voted in favor of the resolution, 14 were against it while 15 nations abstained.
The resolution also called on the Philippine government to take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. The government has also been asked to conduct impartial investigations and hold perpetrators accountable.