THE Philippines is considering withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council after it approved a resolution to investigate President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s war on drugs, according to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr.
“We need to follow America more,” Locsin said in a social media post on Sunday, alluding to the U.S. decision to withdraw from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN Human Rights Council in October 2017 and June 2018 respectively.
The council on July 11 ordered the human rights office to present a comprehensive report as it expressed concerns about human rights violations in the Philippines. The body adopted a resolution that Iceland proposed and 17 other nations supported.
Mr. Locsin had rejected the resolution that he said “does not represent the will of the council, much less that of the developing countries who are always the target of such resolutions.’’
“We will not accept a politically partisan and one-sided resolution, so detached from the truth on the ground,’’ he said in a statement on Friday.
The council urged the government to cooperate with UN offices by allowing visits by its officials and by “refraining from all acts of intimidation or retaliation.”
The resolution also called on the Philippines take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances, to carry out impartial investigations and to hold perpetrators accountable.
Philippine police have said they have killed more than 6,000 people in illegal drug raids, many of them resisting arrest. Some local nongovernmental organizations and the national Commission on Human Rights have placed the death toll at more than 27,000.
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson yesterday told DzBB Radio that the government should come up with a comprehensive report for the UN body instead of allowing it to conduct its own probe.
In March this year, the Philippines withdrew from International Criminal Court, which had also sought to probe Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs. — Charmaine A. Tadalan