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DFA chief bars UN probers entry into Manila

The Philippines will not allow visits by the United Nations to investigate its war on drugs, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Wednesday, calling the human rights experts “bastards” who have shown their bias.

“I already said those bastards, especially that woman, are acting like the queen in Alice in Wonderland. First, the judgment, then the trial,” Locsin said, clearly referring to Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

“No—I don’t want them coming here and then saying that everything they have been saying, but have not proved, is true ‘because we saw it’. How? Are they going to exhume every body?” Locsin said. “No. I’m not going to give them that chance.”

Locsin said the Iceland resolution seeking an inquiry into the human rights situation in the Philippines was nothing but a “dead resolution.”

“It’s a nothing resolution because at the end of the road it failed… It did not pass. The majority was

abstention and no, so it was a dead resolution,” Locsin said in a television interview.

Locsin noted that only 18 of the 47 member states of the UN Human Rights Council voted in favor of the draft resolution filed by Iceland in July, but 14 of them voted no and 15 other states abstained.

“The ‘yes’ votes did win over the ‘no,’ but if you add the abstentions, it was not carried, and under some parliamentary rules, that does not carry. The point is they cannot do anything about it,” he said.

Locsin said the Philippines will remain a member of the UNHRC and will continue to debate on issues, even those not concerning the country.

“There are political debates ongoing with other countries, who are our allies and who we feel are wrongly accused of human rights violations, and we will still be there voting for them against their accusers or in favor of their accusers against them if they are really in the wrong,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, Locsin said the Philippines and China would like to complete the draft of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea within President Duterte’s term.

“They’re [China] hoping we finish the first text in three years, 2021, I think,” Locsin said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

Locsin recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte brought up the matter to Xi during the Chinese leader’s visit in Manila in November last year.

“The President when he met Xi Jinping here in Manila told him, ‘This sea code is taking forever. Can we rush this so we can avoid all of these tensions and we know who’s right and who’s wrong when something happens?’” Locsin said, quoting President Duterte as telling the Chinese president.

“Xi Jinping said “why not” and then he turned to his foreign minister. Then Wang Yi comes to me and says ‘Is he serious?’ Yeah he’s very serious,” Locsin added.

Locsin said his counterpart Wang Yi told him to give Beijing “a kick” if they were “dawdling or delaying” the sea code.

“The result of that is China is mellowing, no longer insisting on the exclusion of foreign powers. And so I brought this basically to the enemies of China and some of our allies,” he said.

“In other words there is a prospect of a fair, just and objective code of conduct in the South China Sea,” Locsin said.

Duterte also brought up the issue of the South China Sea code during his fifth visit to China last month.

Locsin said China is responsive to the diplomatic protests lodged by the Philippine government, but sometimes Beijing disagrees with them.

Locsin earlier said the Department of Foreign Affairs has filed about 60 diplomatic protests against China since the beginning of the administration of Duterte in 2016.

When asked if Beijing has responded to the barrage of protests filed by the Philippines, Locsin replied: “Yes they do. Sometimes they disagree with it.”

“But the point is okay I accept, I learn that if you file a diplomatic protest then you’re keeping your claim alive,”  Locsin said, in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

Topics: United Nations , war on drugs , Teodoro Locsin Jr. , Agnes Callamard
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