MANILA - Sen. Imee Marcos on Tuesday said the Philippines could have avoided an unfavorable United Nations Human Rights Council resolution seeking a comprehensive report on the drug war had Filipino envoys lobbied member-states to vote against it.
Eighteen of the 47 UNHRC member states, mostly European nations, voted to adopt Iceland's resolution which sought a comprehensive review on the human rights situation in the Philippines. Fourteen voted no, while 15 abstained.
“Matagal na rin ang resolution na iyan siguro umiikot at hindi namalayan. Dapat sana naagapan natin iyan at kinausap at nautusan ang mga ambassadors na lakarin nila iyan at pakiusapan, may konting exchange iyan eh, negotations, bigayan din yan. Nandito na tayo, let’s move forward,” Marcos told reporters in a phone interview.
(That resolution has been circulating for quite a while and may have gone unnoticed. We could have prevented an unfavorable decision had our ambassadors lobbied against the resolution. But we’re here now, so let’s move forward.)
Marcos, a neophyte senator, said the Philippine government must also explore the possibility of reversing the outcome of the vote by lobbying countries, especially those which abstained, to change their votes.
The resolution was adopted during the 41st session of the UNHRC in Geneva, Switzerland from June 24 to July 12.
“Marami dyan kaibigan natin - South Americans, yung Fiji barkada natin iyan dahil napakaraming Pilipino. Iyung Africans, Arab states, at least yung mga boto nila mapalitan sa abstain,” she said.
(Many of the countries which abstained and may be convinced to change their mind are considered Philippines’ friends, such as the South Americans, Fiji, Africans, and Arab states.)
“Bago magsalita ng napakapusok, napakaanghang, mas maigi siguro trabahuin natin baka sakaling mabaligtad pa ito.”
(Before we issue harsh statements, let’s see if we can reverse the outcome of the voting.)
The 15 member-states which abstained on the resolution are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Congo, Japan, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Togo and Tunisia.
Those which voted in favor of the resolution are Argentina, Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Iceland, Italy, Peru, Mexico, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom including Northern Ireland, and Uruguay.
Meanwhile, Angola, Bahrain, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, Hungary, India, Iraq, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia voted against the resolution.
Marcos said last Saturday the Philippines should “cut diplomatic ties with Iceland ASAP,” citing how developed nations should not impose on other sovereign countries.
She softened her stance this time however, saying the decision ultimately rests on President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Monday the President is “seriously considering cutting diplomatic relations” with Iceland due to its role in sponsoring the resolution.