MALACAÑANG and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) clarified yesterday that the Philippines is not quitting the United Nations.
“He was reiterating national sovereignty and the fact that he did not welcome interventions that would be considered meddling... We are not decoupling,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.
DFA Secretary Perfecto Yasay said Duterte’s statement “is a statement expressing profound disappointment and frustration.”
Early Sunday morning Duterte in a news briefing threatened to leave the UN after UN special rapporteurs Agnes Callamard and Dainius Puras called on the Philippine government to stop the extrajudicial killings of persons linked to illegal drugs.
“Maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. Eh kung ganiyan kayo kabastos eh p— ina, umalis na kami diyan sa inyo,” the President said.
Abella reiterated that Duterte’s statement came from the UN “singling out” his war on drugs.
“They should have made formal presentations and not just make general statements,” he said.
“As I stated, the United Nations as a formal institution should have made formal representations because we are also a formal institution,” he added.
Abella also clarified Duterte’s statement that the UN has done nothing to help the Philippines.
“We are not negating support. We are not negating aid and all of those things,” he explained.
“He is not disclaiming the aid. He has taken umbrage of the fact that the United Nations is making public statements without making formal representations,” Abella stressed.
Yasay said the Philippines will certainly not leave the United Nations despite the frustration of the Duterte administration with the international human rights experts who urged the Philippines to stop drug-related killings.
The DFA chief at the same time called on the international community to support the Philippines’ fight against prohibited drugs instead of simply providing lip service to eradicating the urgent international problem on the uplifting of the quality of life of communities and families.
In a press conference, Yasay stressed “we are certainly not leaving the UN despite our numerous frustrations with this international agency.”
“The statement of the President is a statement expressing disappointment and frustration and is not ant statement that should indicate a threat to leave the United Nations,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte lambasted statements made by two UN special rapporteurs who urged the administration to stop summary executions of drug peddlers, the number of which have escalated since Duterte took office and started waging war against illegal drugs.
asay said while they do not discredit media reports, the special rapporteurs are mandated to make proper inquiries and there are protocols for conducting such probes.
“Media reports may serve as their leads but such reports do not constitute prima facie evidence of fact. It is highly irresponsible on their part to solely rely on such allegations based on information from unnamed sources without proper substantiation,” the secretary explained
He said the two special rapporteurs are independent human experts and acting in their personal capacity.
“We do not begrudge their right to do their job and so they must also do not begrudge our country’s right and our people’s right to govern ourselves and to solve the urgent problems at hand.”
Yasay stressed the administration’s war on drugs is a very urgent and critical domestic matter and is being waged with firm adherence to the country’s established human rights principles.
“The President has time and again declared his avowe purpose to pursue this war on drugs in accordance with the rule of law in full respect for human rights,” he said.
Yasay noted that the Philippine National Police, on orders of Duterte, are continuing to investigate every report of drug-related killings and immediately prosecute all those found to liable.
About 900 suspected drug traffickers have been killed since Duterte took office but the government denied involvement in the deaths.
The Philippines is one of the founding members of the UN.
Meanwhile, Rep. Harry Roque said the threat of Duterte to withdraw the Philippines membership from the UN is impulsive, imprudent, and contrary to the interests of the nation.
The UN is an organization that embodies fundamental principles of international peace and cooperation.
In a statement, Roque said: “The Philippines has relied on the UN and its Charter in its defense against China’s threats of force and attempts at unlawful interventions. It is an understatement to say that the Philippines needs the UN today more than it ever has. Aside from the fact that no State has ever successfully withdrawn from the UN, or had any legitimate reason to do so, repudiating ties with the United Nations will only weaken the Philippine position on foreign affairs.”