Malacañang dismissed as mere “unwarranted nuisance” the remarks of the Human Rights Watch (HRW) that the Philippines could lose its membership in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) if it continues to refuse to allow an independent investigation into its violent war on illegal drugs.
“The only basis for suspension of privileges of members of the UNHRC is for the concerned member to have committed ‘gross and systematic violations of human rights’ and such a decision is not of the UNHRC but by 2/3 vote of the members of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) present and voting,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
“This is what is said in paragraph 8 of A/Res/251, the UNGA resolution that established the UNHRC,” he added.
Abella cited that “the UNHRC unanimously accepted and commended the Outcome Report on the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) – a decision undermined by HRW.”
“Thus, the noise from HRW amounts to nothing more than unwarranted nuisance,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday remained unfazed on the threat of critics to remove the Philippines from the UNHRC.
“My God, do it, stupid. Do it now,” Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang.
Duterte had earlier dared United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard to visit the Philippines and probe the alleged deaths in the government’s brutal war on drugs.
The President, however, set conditions which were unacceptable to the UN rapporteur.
Callamard has drawn the ire of Duterte for her criticisms of the President’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs.
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