Above is a photo of Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, which filed a resolution urging the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the human rights situation in the Philippines.
BY/Chris Yunker
Philippines might cut diplomatic ties with Iceland
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - July 15, 2019 - 4:17pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is open to severing diplomatic relationships with Iceland after the latter filed a resolution urging the United Nations Human Rights Council to look into the country's drug war.

Iceland, along with 17 other countries, voted in favor of adopting the resolution mandating the council to conduct a "comprehensive" review of the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo accused Iceland of infringing Philippine sovereignty by making such declarations.

"Kasi 'pag ang isang bansa ay nagpapahayag ng mga posisyon na makakasira sa ating kasarinlan o sovereignty e kailangan talagang putulin natin ang relasyon natin sa kanila kung wala silang gagawin kundi siraan lang tayo nang siraan sa mga kalakaran na hindi naman batay sa tunay na pangyayari dito sa ating bayan," Panelo said in a press briefing Monday.

(When one country is making declarations that infringe our independence or sovereignty, we really have to cut our relations with them if they have nothing to do but discredit our policies that are not based on real events in our country.)

Noting that the Philippines does not have an embassy in Iceland, Panelo said the government would consider the situation of Filipino workers in the Nordic island country in its decision.

The final decision on cutting diplomatic ties with Iceland would be up to Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and President Rodrigo Duterte, Panelo said.

"Hahayaan natin ang ating pangulo na magbigay ng kanyang pinal na hatol sa mga panawagan na putulin na natin ang ating pakikipag-ugnayan sa isang bansa kagaya ng Iceland," Panelo said.

(We will let our president give his final verdict on calls to sever ties with other countries like Iceland.)

The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo earlier warned that the Philippines would look bad in the international community if it would cut ties with Iceland.

Robredo's spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said the international community might say that the Philippines is having a "tantrum" following the UNHRC resolution.

"Para ngang ang lumalabas talaga doon ay mayroon siguro talagang laman itong naging reklamo na ito, dahil ganiyan ang naging reaksyon imbes na harapin nang buong tapang," Gutierrez said Sunday.

(It would look like there might be some truth to this complaint because of this reaction instead of facing the issue bravely.)

Locsin earlier hinted that the Philippines might withdraw from the UNHRC following the adoption of the resolution to look into the country's campaign against illegal drugs.

"No embassy in Iceland. Nor does Iceland have an embassy here. Iceland took the place of the US after it withdrew from the Human Rights Council. I think we need to follow America more," Locsin tweeted over the weekend.

In June 2018, the United States withdrew from the council, accusing the body of "chronic bias" against Israel. Iceland was elected to replace the US in the council from July 2018 to December 2019.

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