The Philippines on Thursday rejected a resolution by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate thousands of killings under the government’s crackdown against illegal drugs over the past three years.
A statement by the Foreign Secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr., on Thursday warned of “far-reaching” consequences for countries that supported what he described as “an insult to the Philippines”.
He vowed that the government’s commitment to protecting the public against crime would not weaken following the resolution.
“Do not presume to threaten states with accountability for a tough approach to crushing crime, at which some of your countries are complicit at worst and tolerant at best.
“You don’t have the wherewithal, so all you can do is insult.
“Thus, the Philippines rejects this resolution.
“It cannot, in good conscience, abide by it.
“We will not accept a politically partisan and one-sided resolution, so detached from the truth on the ground.”
During its 41st session in Geneva, 18 of the 47 member states of the council voted in favour of the resolution filed by Iceland, which formally asked UN rights chief
Michelle Bachelet to come up with a comprehensive report on the situation in the Philippines.
The resolution also urged the Philippine government to cooperate with the UN by facilitating country visits and “refraining from all acts of intimidation or retaliation”.
Fourteen countries opposed the resolution and 15 abstained.
Locsin redefined Philippine foreign policy after the vote: “Our foreign policy was summed up as being ‘Friend to all, enemy to none’”.
In the face of today’s changing realities, I refined this to ‘Friend to friends, enemy to enemies, and a worse enemy to false friends’”.
“We renew our solidarity with our true friends, who have stood by us in this farce.
“But we will not tolerate any form of disrespect or acts of bad faith. There will be consequences; far-reaching ones,”
Since 2016, at least 6,600 suspected drug pushers and addicts have been killed in police operations under the government’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs in the Philippines, according to official statistics.
Human rights groups have alleged that many of those killed in the anti-illegal drugs campaign were summarily executed by the police, who often claimed that the victims fought during arrest.
Some children have also been killed in the crossfire or in mistaken-identity shootings.
Locsin said that the government’s campaign would not waiver in spite of the criticisms, noting: “The Philippines renews its solemn responsibility to protect the law-abiding against the lawless by any means efficient to achieve the defining purpose for the existence and expense of a state.’’
“To that responsibility, my President has made an iron, unwavering and total commitment; and it will not be weakened by this ill-fated resolution.”
Earlier in the week, Amnesty International released a report denouncing the illegal drugs crackdown in the Philippines as a “large-scale murdering enterprise” aimed at victimising mostly poor people that should be investigated by the UN.