Palace urged to rethink stand on aid from UN resolution backers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2019 09:39 AM

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MANILA - A lawmaker on Monday urged Malacañang to rescind its order to halt negotiations on loans and grants from countries that backed an Iceland-led UN investigation into government's war on drugs.

The Philippines needs international assistance for the peace process in Mindanao and the development of the economy, Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said.

"We cannot make enemies of 18 countries. We need them in other international decision making. We cannot be an island. Imagine you ostracized 18 countries already and these are big countries," he told ANC's Early Edition.

"It’s a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that a resolution was approved. But you know countries can do that."

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Sunday the Philippines did not want to borrow money from countries that attack anti-drug campaigns.

Rodriguez urged government to instead keep communicating with other countries and defend its anti-narcotics campaign.

"We have to be transparent. The government should be able to defend its program. There is a a fight against drugs in this country now we have to defend the processes, the results," he said.

"The international community is concerned about human rights, everybody should be, including our country."

With 18 countries in favor, the UN Human Rights Council approved a resolution last July to compile a sweeping review on Duterte's drug war, which led to the deaths of 6,700 people, in what police say were shootouts with dealers who resisted arrest.