Dispatch from Crame No. 557: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin’s response to the UNHRC Resolution


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In his statement on the UNHRC Resolution calling for a UN investigation on the killings under the Philippine drug war, DFA Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin, Jr. recalls the crimes against humanity committed in the past by the countries who voted for the resolution, while at the same time reminding them of the supposed “unblemished” human rights record of the Philippines throughout its history.

Locsin’s posturing confounds logic and good sense. It’s so off.

The history of the formulation and recognition of the inalienable rights of human beings is a product of the history of the crimes against humanity committed in the past by colonizers against the colonized. This is the historical basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). 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.

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.

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. 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.

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. 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.

What he is actually telling the West and those who voted for the UNHRC Resolution is this: “You had your own human rights violations perpetrated in the past by your own countries, we therefore reserve our right to commit the same human rights violations against our own people”.

This “what-aboutism” betrays the hypocritical and self-serving nature of Locsin’s argument against the UNHRC Resolution. He posits that States have a right to murder their own people, and that Europe and the West should adopt a quid-pro-quo attitude now that it is third world countries who are committing the same crimes against their people.

This is fascist thinking to the core, and it disappoints us so much that Locsin has gone so far down the rabbit hole he can no longer recognize the character he actually plays in this nightmarish “Wonderland” created by his boss.

*Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 557 here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_557_1

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