MANILA - Instead of sending a representative, Philippines will send documents to the United States as the powerful nation's lawmakers launch a probe on Duterte's often-criticized drug war.
Foreign affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the US body has no right to summon a Philippine delegation to the hearing, but there are available documents they can send. These documents, earlier presented to the United Nations, would make good reading material "for those who want to be fair, for those who are real human rights advocates who have due process," said Cayetano.
"They’re not the United Nations, they’re not our boss. Wala silang karapatan na ipatawag tayo. If they invite us as a guest, we’ll make an assessment and decide whether to go," he told ANC's Headstart Thursday.
"But I have instructed our post in the US to submit to them 'yung Universal Periodic Review that we submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council para naman yung friends natin in the US Senate hindi naman mabola nung mga advocates na pino-politicize yung human rights," he added.
Cayetano maintained the US legislative body did not ask the Philippines to report to them and the hearing was "to determine the funds that they will give to the Philippines or their attitude towards the Philippines."
Addressing the Filipino public, Cayetano said: "Let’s make it clear: they’re not our boss, they don’t control us. They’re not our parents. They’re not my wife—takot ako sa asawa ko, pero hindi ako takot sa Amerika because they’re supposed to be our allies."
The US House of Representatives' Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bi-partisan caucus, is set to hold on Thursday a hearing on "the human rights consequences of the ‘war on drugs’ currently underway in the Philippines."
Cayetano on Wednesday told ABS-CBN News the Philippines expects due process in the investigation, adding that he has spoken to an adviser of a US senator who assured him that the probe will be "balanced."