By Charmaine A. Tadalan

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. renewed the Philippines government’s commitment towards keeping international order, but advised the United Nations (UN) to respect sovereign principle.

“If the UN is to endure, it must remember that it is a collection of sovereignties but not itself a sovereign collective,” Mr. Locsin said in his speech to diplomats at the 2019 Philippine Independence day diplomatic reception in New York City on June 14.

“It is only as effective as members cooperate to make it so. And it should not presume to threaten states with accountability for taking a tough approach to crushing crime,” he added.

This followed a recent call made by eleven Special Rapporteurs of the UN to conduct an international probe on the Philippines as regards the administration’s war against the illegal drug trade.

The UN Human Rights Council has also been vocal against the detention of opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima and even called for her release.

“It is true that much harm is done to people by states, even their own — though nowhere near as much as non-state actors have inflicted as we have seen. But only states have the wherewithal to protect people — their own and in extreme cases those of other states,” Mr. Locsin said.

He cited the Philippines as being among the founding members of the UN.

“In the exercise of this sovereignty, 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: defense of nation, protection of people,” Mr. Locsin said.