By Azer Parrocha
MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday shrugged off the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) move to adopt a resolution that would allow the body to investigate the human rights situation in the Philippines.
“Bahala sila. Kung ako magtrabaho hindi ako… (It’s up to them. If I work, I won’t…) Let’s face it. But they — they can,” Duterte told reporters in a chance interview in Malacañang.
Reports showed that 18 of the 47 member states voted in favor of the draft resolution filed by Iceland which asked UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to prepare a “comprehensive written report” on the country’s human rights situation.
Asked if the UNHRC will be allowed to investigate in the country, Duterte said that they should first state their purpose.
“Let them state their purpose and I will,” Duterte said.
“Dagdag lang sila sa intriga (They’ll only add to the intrigue). They better go to the media and the media will tell them the truth. Eh ipalabas ninyo ‘yung footages ninyong lahat (show all your footages) and all, and that will clear everybody,” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier called any form of UN investigation as interference to Philippine sovereignty.
In a tweet, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said the draft resolution will most likely be ignored.
“No effect. Such resolutions especially those passed by a tiny minority can and will be ignored. No consequences. On the other hand, the initiative to insult the Philippines with the assumption without proof that it commits gross abuses there will be far-reaching consequences,” Locsin said.
Meanwhile, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson, Col. Bernard Banac said the UN action will be appropriately addressed by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
He added the PNP will remain guided by instructions from higher authorities.
“We assure the public that the PNP remains vigilant to prevent the occurrence of crimes and will continue to perform its mandate to enforce the law following established operational procedures with the utmost respect for human rights.” (With reports from Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)