MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III and neophyte Senator Manny Pacquiao opposed Senator Leila De Lima’s resolution seeking a United Nations-backed probe into the extrajudicial killings in the country.
Sotto said the UN has no reason to meddle with Philippine affairs.
“If you’re asking for my personal opinion, hindi ako supportive (I am not supportive). Bakit makikialam ang UN sa atin? Payag ba sila na makikialam din tayo sa kanila? (Why would UN meddle with our affairs? Will they allow us to meddle in theirs?)” Sotto told reporters on Wednesday, September 21.
Sotto said the UN should be the one to explain their stance on abortion, saying it is the “highest form” of human rights violation.
Sotto is strongly against abortion, contraceptives, and the Reproductive Health law.
“Eh di pakikialaman ko yung pagtuturo nila ng (Then I will meddle in their teaching of) abortion because to me, the highest form of human rights violation is abortion and the UN officials are supporting it and recommending it,” Sotto said.
Citing what he said was a speech of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Sotto hit the UN for encouraging countries where abortion is illegal to “find ways to skirt strict abortion law.”
“For me that’s the highest form of human rights violations. Tapos pakikiaalam nila tayo? And dinadamay nila ang mga namamatay sa drug operations ng police na nag-resist, (And then they will intervene with our affairs? And they’re including those who died in drag operations because they resisted.)” Sotto said.
Sotto also hit the international body for only reporting on the killings and not on the 16,582 arrests.
“They are concentrating on drug operations of the police tapos dinadamay nila pati ang mga pinapatay ng mga gang war (and then they will also count those who were killed by gang wars). Bakit natin hahayaang na makialam ang UN dito? (Why would we allow them to intervene?” he said.
Sotto said De Lima’s resolution would be referred to the committee on foreign relations, which is headed by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano – a staunch ally of President Rodrigo Duterte.
‘Very wrong move’
Pacquiao, for his part, said no other nation should tell the country what to do. For him, it is a “very wrong move.”
“It’s a very wrong move na gagawin natin. Walang pwedeng makialam dito sa atin, sa problema natin. Di pwede makisawsaw ang ibang bansa. Pangit ang makialam ang ibang bansa, (No one can interfere with us, our problems. Other countries can’t do it. It’s bad if they do so.)” Pacquiao said.
He defended President Duterte’s actions, saying he only wants the good for the Philippines. After all, he said the country needs discipline, which only Duterte could offer.
“Wala naman hangad ang ating Pangulo kung hindi kabutihan ng ating bansa. Di naman naging Pangulo yan para sa kanyang sarili. Ayaw nga nya ng corruption, ayaw ng drugs, kung baga ang ginagawa ng ating Pangulo ay para sa ating bansa,” Pacquiao said.
(Our President has nothing but good intentions for the country. He did not become President for himself. He does not want corruption, drugs. In short, all the President’s actions are for the country’s welfare.)
“Dapat talaga may disiplina dahil matitigas ang ulo. Kung sumunod lahat, di rin naman ganun magdisiplina ang pangulo,” he added.
(There really should be discipline because people are hard-headed. If everyone follows, the President wouldn’t discipline like that.)
The UN has repeatedly cricitized Duterte’s stance on human rights – something that did not sit well with the President.
Duterte also earlier invited the UN special rapporteur to a public debate but retracted it later on. – Rappler.com