Sotto backs Locsin on staying in UN rights body


Posted at Jul 16 2019 11:12 AM

MANILA -- Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto on Tuesday backed Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.'s pronouncement that the Philippines would remain in a United Nations body that sought information on the government's anti-narcotics drive.

Locsin, in a Twitter post, said the United Nations Human Rights Council's resolution seeking a comprehensive report into the war on drugs was "a small and harmless matter" and that Manila will not be severing relations with any country.

"If he says we stay, we stay!" Sotto said in a tweet.

Locsin thanked the senator, saying the latter was "the only one who has ever had my back all the time since as far back as I can remember."

"I go through life with just one friend. Okay, I'm not exactly a people person but neither am I cold and unfriendly, di ba?" he added.

Manila will stay in the UNHRC "as a pedagogical duty to teach Europeans moral manners", Locsin earlier said.

"We're NOT severing diplomatic relations with any country. If we did, where's the conversation? How do you insult those who insulted us if you cut them off?" he said.

He previously hinted that the Philippines might withdraw from the UN rights body following the vote.

"No embassy in Iceland. Nor does Iceland have an embassy here. Iceland took the place of the US after it withdrew from the Human Rights Council. I think we need to follow America more," he said.

Manila says police have killed 6,600 drug suspects who resisted arrest, rejecting the estimates of rights groups who say the crackdown -- that remains popular with many Filipinos -- has left more than 20,000 dead.

President Rodrigo Duterte is facing cases before the International Criminal Court for alleged mass murders and human rights violations under the drug war, his signature initiative launched in 2016. He has withdrawn the country from the treaty that created the ICC.
With a report from Agence France-Presse