Philippines Not Leaving UN: Foreign Minister
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends a ceremony at police headquarters in Manila, August 17, 2016. Image Credit: Reuters
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay says Duterte’s statement “a statement expressing profound disappointment and frustration”
Manila: The Philippine is not leaving the United Nations, the foreign minister said on Monday, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to quit the body after it called for an end to the wave of killings unleashed by his war on drugs.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay said Duterte’s statement “is a statement expressing profound disappointment and frustration”.
“We are committed to the U.N. despite our numerous frustrations with this international agency,” Yasay told a news conference.
In a pre-dawn news conference on Sunday which started around 1am in his hometown of Davao, Duterte said he might leave the organization and invite China and others to form a new one.
Two U.N. human rights experts last week urged Manila to stop the extra-judicial executions and killings that have escalated since Duterte won the presidency on a promise to wipe out drugs.
About 900 suspected drug traffickers have been killed since he came to power after winning the election on May 9.
Duterte on Friday denied that the government was responsible and in a middle-of-the-night news conference in Davao. The feisty president said the deaths were not the work of the police and invited U.N. experts to investigate themselves.
“I will prove to the world that you are a very stupid expert,” he said, urging them to count not just the number of drug-related deaths but also the innocent lives lost to drugs.
He then launched an attack on the United Nations and its members — including by inference Manila’s traditionally close ally, Washington — saying, it could not fulfill its own mandate but was “worrying about the bones of criminals piling up.”
“I do not want to insult you. But maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations,” he said.
Criticizing the U.N. for not doing enough to address hunger and terrorism and for not being able to do anything about Syria and Iraq and allowing big powers to bomb villages and kill innocent civilians, he said he would invite China and African nations to form another global organization.