Duterte ‘seriously considering’ cutting ties with Iceland

President Rodrigo R. Duterte is “seriously considering” cutting ties with Iceland after it sponsored a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to look into the human rights situation in the country, including deaths in the campaign against illegal drugs.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte personally told him that he was contemplating on cutting ties with the Nordic island-country.

“Just talked to PRRD an hour ago. He is seriously considering cutting diplomatic relations with Iceland,” Panelo said in a statement on Monday night.

Panelo described the UNHRC resolution as “grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan”.

“It reeks of nauseating politics completely devoid of respect for the sovereignty of our country. It is bereft of the gruesome realities of the drug menace in the country,” Panelo said.

He said that the Iceland-sponsored resolution was based on false information and unverified facts and figures and only meant to embarrass the Philippines before the international community.

Moreover, he stressed that the resolution “smacks of policization” designed to force the Philippines to be subservient to their imagined superiority.

“The resolution likewise demonstrates how the Western powers are scornful of our sovereign exercise of protecting our people from the scourge of prohibited drugs that threaten to destroy the fabric of our society. Their intrusive abuse is patent and condemnable,” Panelo said.

Earlier, Panelo downplayed the impact brought about by cutting Philippine-Iceland ties, noting that it would barely affect Filipino workers there.

“How will it affect us? Ano bang relasyon natin sa (What relation do we have with) Iceland in the first place? Ni wala tayong embassy doon eh. Wala rin sila dito eh (We don’t have an embassy there. They don’t have an embassy here either),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

He, however, said the government would consider all factors in deciding whether to proceed with cutting ties with Iceland for good.

“Gaano ba karami (How many Filipinos are working and living there)? All of that are taken into consideration. What is the best interest of the country, we will pursue,” he added.

Senator Imee Marcos was the first to propose the severing of ties with Iceland, saying the developed countries cannot impose their agenda on other countries like the Philippines.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. warned that there will be “consequences” for countries that acted out of bad faith. PNA