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PH won’t pull out from UN

The Philippines is not pulling out its membership from the United Nations despite the frustrations voiced by President Duterte for meddling with the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella clarified that the President merely stated “the Philippines is a sovereign nation and should not be meddled with.”

“We are not decoupling,” Abella said in a Palace news conference.

“He was really just reiterating national sovereignty and the fact that he did not welcome interventions or what he would consider meddling,” he said. “It was not a statement of fact that we are leaving.”

Last weekend, the President threatened the Philippines would pull out from the UN after it criticized the spate of alleged extrajudicial killings amid the government’s anti-drug campaign.

Two UN envoys earlier claimed that Duterte’s shoot-to-kill order against drug suspects amounted to “incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law.” Duterte, however, described the UN experts “stupid” for counting the number of dead drug suspects but not the number of innocent lives lost to drugs.

Abella said the President was dismayed that the UN seemed to be singling out the Philippines over the drug-related killings but kept silent on violence elsewhere in the world.

He said the UN should have made “formal presentations and not just make general statements.” “As I stated, the United Nations as a formal institution should have made formal representations because we are also a formal institution,” Abella added.

He said it was now up to the UN resident coordinator to respond to the President’s statement.

Abella also tried to downplay the President’s statement that the UN has unable to help the Philippines, saying “we are not negating support” and other aid given by the world body.

“He is not disclaiming the aid. He has taken umbrage of the fact that the United Nations are making public statements without making formal representations,” he added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)