VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Locsin changes tune on aid from UNHRC resolution signatories

Read this fact check in Filipino

From initially saying the Philippines "[did] not need the money" of Iceland and the 17 other nations that voted for a probe on the country's human rights situation, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. now says it is time to "move on."

This, after the Duterte government lifted its order to shun all aid from the Nordic country, for leading the resolution on the probe at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and the 17 others that supported the move.

STATEMENT

Reacting on Twitter to Inquirer.net’s story on the policy reversal, Locsin said:

“This is called moving on. After all, we defeated that resolution with the big help of our real friends like China, African states; Japan and a big group that she convinced to abstain. ”

Source: @teddyboylocsin, This is called moving on, March 5, 2020

FLIPFLOP

In a September 2019 tweet, Locsin called the memorandum on the ban, issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on behalf of the president, a “good idea,” saying:

“We don't need the money (from the 18 countries that signed the UNHRC resolution); we've more than enough without turning to anyone outside except Japan of course whose generosity is unconditional, quick; and whose motivation is honestly to help the Philippines. The rest are tongue in cheek and negligible.”

Source: @teddyboylocsin, Good idea. We don't need the money, Sept. 20, 2019

The Iceland-led resolution, adopted by the UNHRC on July 11 last year, “urged” the Philippines to “take all necessary measures to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances” and called on the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights to prepare a “comprehensive written report” on the human rights situation in the country. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Andanar’s claim that Iceland has no representation in PH is WRONG)

Argentina, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Slovakia, Spain, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay were the other countries that voted in favor of the measure.

Locsin, in a statement following the adoption of the UNHRC resolution, said that the Philippines “rejects” the move, adding:

“[W]e will not tolerate any form of disrespect or acts of bad faith. There will be consequences; far-reaching ones.”

Source: Department of Foreign Affairs, Statement of Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin on the Adoption of the Iceland Resolution by the Human Rights Council, July 11, 2019

In a March 5 press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo called the ban an “outrage reaction.” He said: “[H]aving already expressed our stand on that (resolution), perhaps there is now a reason to change it (the policy).”

Released on Feb. 27, the memorandum ordered all department secretaries and heads of agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations and state financial institutions to resume talks for signing loan and grant agreements with the 18 countries. It did not specify the reason for the policy reversal.

Read the full memorandum here:

Memorandum lifting UNHRC si... by VERA Files on Scribd


Sources

Un.org, Promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines (A/HRC/41/L.20), July 5, 2019

Office of the President, Memorandum from the Executive Secretary, Feb. 27, 2020

@teddyboylocsin, This is called moving on, March 5, 2020

@teddyboylocsin, Good idea. We don't need the money, Sept. 20, 2019

Philstar.com, Philippines shuns aid from countries in Iceland resolution, Sept. 21, 2019

CNN Philippines, Philippines suspends aid from countries that back UN drug war probe, Sept. 21, 2019

Inquirer.net, Duterte order shuns all loans, grants, aid from 18 countries backing probe of PH killings, Sept. 20, 2019

Department of Foreign Affairs, Statement of Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin on the Adoption of the Iceland Resolution by the Human Rights Council, July 11, 2019

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Press Briefing of Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo, March 5, 2020



(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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