In this June 27, 2019 photo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. congratulates the newly-commissioned foreign service officers. The DFA chief said the Philippines will not withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council nor sever diplomatic ties with Iceland.
DFA chief Locsin 'never considered' cutting ties with Iceland
Patricia Lourdes Viray (The Philippine Star) - July 16, 2019 - 5:23pm

MANILA, Philippines — Contradicting Malacañang's previous pronouncements, the Philippines' top diplomat said the country will not sever diplomatic ties with any state.

Presidential spokesperson Salavador Panelo earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte was "seriously considering" cutting ties with Iceland, which filed a resolution before the United Nations Human Rights Council to review the human rights situation in the Philippines.

Panelo, however, said this decision would be up to Duterte and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.

"I never considered for a second cutting any ties over this small matter," Locsin said on Twitter.

In a separate tweet, Locsin also said the Philippines will stay in the UNHRC "as a pedagogical duty to teach Europeans moral manners."

"We're NOT severing diplomatic relations with any country. If we did, where's the conversation? How do you insult those who insulted us if you cut them off?" he said.

Locsin earlier hinted at the possibility of the Philippines leaving the council, saying the country should follow the United States, which withdrew from the rights body last year.

The DFA chief later on clarified that despite the "temptation" to quit the UN rights body, the Philippines will stay to "remain true to the cause of human rights."

According to Locsin, he also urged the country's top defense and security officials to continue sales talks with countries that voted in favor of the Iceland resolution.

"As I said, we need to buy their weapons as they need to sell them to us because we must defend our national territory," Locsin said.

Out of the 47 members of the UNHRC, 18 countries voted in favor of the Iceland-led resolution, 14 voted against it, while 15 abstained.

Aside from Iceland, the countries that voted for the investigation into the Philippines' drug war are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Uruguay.

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