De Lima hits Locsin’s ‘hysterical’ response to UN resolution
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila De Lima on Monday belied the claims of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. that the human rights record of the Philippines is “unblemished.”
Following the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’s decision to adopt the resolution mandating the human rights body to conduct a “comprehensive” review of the human rights situation in the Philippines, Locsin said the Philippines has an “unblemished human rights record” as he noted the human rights violations committed by various Western countries.
“Western countries pushed for this resolution in the confidence that the world has forgotten what they did and what should have been done to them had there been a Human Rights Council,” Locsin said.
“They sought to bring a people and a country, with an unblemished human rights record, down to the level of the authors of atrocities the world must not forget,” he added.
De Lima, however, described Locsin’s response to the resolution as “hysterical,” adding that the foreign affairs secretary is “conveniently forgetting” the human rights violations during the Marcos regime.
“In his hysterical response to the UNHRC Resolution, Locsin reminds us of the history of atrocities of the West while conveniently forgetting the Philippine State’s past and present crimes against its own people,” De Lima said in a statement.
“Whether committed under Marcos or Duterte, these crimes against the Filipino people belie Locsin’s claim of an ‘unblemished’ human rights record for the Philippines. Locsin cannot be ignorant of this,” the senator added.
De Lima also noted that Locsin now “accepts the murder of suspected criminals” though he was among those who fought the Marcos regime.
“Locsin, of course, conveniently forgets that the Philippines’ human rights record is not ‘unblemished.’ He only has to remember the Marcos dictatorship and martial law that he proudly reminds everybody he fought and struggled against,” De Lima said.
“Of course, Locsin now accepts the murder of suspected criminals as the necessary consequence of the State defending itself, the same pretext used by the dictatorship he once fought to cover up the thousands of murders, tortures, and abductions being repeated by the Duterte regime he now speaks for,” the senator added.
Not repeating the past
While De Lima agrees that the atrocities committed by the European powers in the past should be remembered, the senator said they should not be used as a “justification” of the human rights situation in the country.
“Indeed, we must remember and not forget the atrocities of the European powers of the 19th and 20th centuries committed against the rest of the world. In not forgetting, the world will not allow its repeat,” De Lima said.
“But the European atrocities of the past does not mean that it is now our turn to commit the same crimes against our own countrymen. The past can never be used as a justification that the Philippine State now has the right to kill its own people in the guise of defending itself against criminals and illegal drugs,” the senator added. /ee
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