- Philippines’ Vice President Leni Robredo hit the country’s decision to reject the UN resolution calling to end the human rights crisis involving Rohingya refugees
- Only the Philippines and China voted against the resolution, which called for a vote of 46 member states.
- The Philippines recently suspended deals with 18 countries who voted in favor of the Iceland-led resolution to have the UN probe into President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war.
MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo over the weekend slammed the decision of the Philippines to reject the United Nations (UN) resolution which pushes for an end to human rights abuses of Rohingya Muslims and other minorities in Myanmar.
“Nagkaroon ng UN resolution para magkaroon ng isang strong statement na dine-decry iyong ganito, parang ino-oppose iyong ganitong sitwasyon sa pangyayayari—kinokondena. Isa lang tayo sa dalawang bansa na nagsasabing hindi natin iyon kinokondena,” Robredo said in her weekly radio show.
(There was a UN resolution calling for a strong statement to decry the issue, oppose and condemn what has been happening. We are one of the two countries claiming that we do not condemn it.)
Of the 46 member states of the UN Human Rights Council which convened on Thursday, only Philippines and China voted against the resolution. Seven others abstained from voting.
The resolution calls on the Myanmar government to “allow the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable” return of Rohingya, a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar.
In its explanation of vote, the Philippines reasoned that it acknowledges the situation, but it seeks long-term solutions in assisting the Rohingya refugees.
“Sana at the very least mag-abstain o iyong explanation na iyon puwede namang ‘Yes’ kasi kinikilala niya naman,” she added.
(I hope at the very least we abstained, because our explanation can qualify as a ‘yes’ vote for acknowledging the issue.)
Just this month, President Rodrigo Duterte issued a directive to stop all negotiations with 18 countries in favor of the Iceland-led resolution to probe the human rights situation in the Philippines, particularly on his anti-drug campaign.
At least 5,300 deaths from narcotic operations were recorded by authorities when Duterte took office in 2016.
But for human rights groups, the death toll had already risen to at least 27,000 as of this year. -The Manila Times/Office of the Vice President