Dispatch from Crame No. 610: Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the PH’s Unconscionable and Immoral NO Vote on the Rohingya Issue


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While the rest of the world moves in unison to the succor of the brutalized Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the Philippine government has chosen to be a human rights pariah, alongside her big brother China.

No less than 37 member states at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) this month have concertedly urged Myanmar to protect the rights of the Rohingya, facilitate international justice for the victims and ensure democratic transition in government.

This UNHRC Resolution could not come a moment too soon. Rohingya Muslims have tremendously suffered from ethnic cleansing that the Myanmar military has been waging since two (2) years ago, which has forcibly driven around 740,000 people to Bangladesh, and has kept some 500,000 more in appalling living conditions in the Rakhine State.

Despite the indubitable evidence of grave crimes, however, the Philippine government looked the other way to follow the position taken by the despotic regime in Beijing. I ask this boldly: is this NO vote the true and genuine position of our Foreign Affairs Department and our Foreign Affairs Secretary? Or was it merely or solely the dictate of this anti-human rights and pro-China President?

I condemn this vote. It does not represent who we are as a people. We value everyone’s dignity. We stand for humanity. We strive for justice.

I urge the Filipinos to collectively denounce and disown this immoral NO vote of the government. This is an irrefutable proof that we are turning into a vassal state of China. It likewise signals an equally alarming trend towards the dehumanization of the current administration.

In only three (3) years of misguided and messy governance, this regime has destroyed our very soul as a nation.

This has to stop. By all things that remain free, just and humane in the Filipino, this has to stop. ###

(Access the handwritten copy of Dispatch from Crame No. 610, here: https://issuu.com/senatorleilam.delima/docs/dispatch_no._610

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