MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang strongly condemned the resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which laid out actions on killings linked to President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war.
"The resolution is grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan. It reeks of nauseating politics completely devoid of respect for the sovereignty of our country, even as it is bereft of the gruesome realities of the drug menace in the country," said Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo in a statement on Friday, July 12.
The Palace said the adoption of the Iceland-proposed resolution was an insult to the majority of Filipinos who expressed satisfaction with Duterte's governance in local surveys.
"The overwhelming majority of the Filipino electorate, who mercilessly crushed the intellectual and nationalist pretensions of those who peddled the bogus news, untruthful accounts and vicious propaganda on the President’s campaign against illegal drugs, are grossly and thoroughly insulted by the resolution that echoes such falsities," said Panelo.
As far as the Palace is concerned, the resolution was "designed to embarrass the Philippines before the international community and the global audience."
Panelo said the 18 countries that voted in favor of the resolution were merely "misled" by "continuing and relentless false news" about the Duterte administration.
Like Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr, the Duterte spokesman questioned the validity of the voting saying the 18 who backed the resolution do not represent a simple majority of the 47 UNHCR member-countries.
Fourteen countries opposed the resolution and 15 abstained.
Duterte to review
But Malacañang did not say outright that the Philippines would not cooperate with UNHCR when it makes its report on the administration's illegal drugs crackdown.
Duterte, said Panelo, will still decide if he will "permit" such a probe.
"He will be reviewing the intent of the proposed investigation and will decide thereafter on whether to permit the same to proceed or not," said the spokesman.
But the Philippine leader had previously bristled against any attempt by an international body to probe his government.
He had threatened to arrest International Criminal Court chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda should she travel to the Philippines to gather information about the drug killings, in relation to the court's preliminary examination on them.
When UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard wanted to look into alleged abuses, he challenged her to a public debate and ordered law enforcement agencies not to cooperate. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.