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Drug war killings: Philippine leader considers cutting ties with Iceland over UN probe

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is considering severing ties with Iceland after it filed a resolution calling on the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate thousands of killings under the government’s crackdown against illegal drugs.

The Duterte administration has rejected the resolution, which was adopted last week, for being biased and one-sided.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo made this known to reporters on Tuesday.

“He (Duterte) mentioned last night that he is seriously considering cutting diplomatic ties with Iceland.

“There are only about 2,000 Filipinos there and as far as we know, there are no trade relations between these two countries, except fish.”

During its 41st session in Geneva on July 11, 18 of the 47 member states of the UN Human Rights Council voted in favour of the resolution filed by Iceland, which formally asked UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet to come up with a comprehensive report on the situation in the Philippines.

The resolution also urged the Philippine government to cooperate with the UN by facilitating country visits and “refraining from all acts of intimidation or retaliation.”

Fourteen countries opposed the resolution and 15 abstained.

Since 2016, at least 6,600 suspected drug pushers and addicts have been killed in police operations under the government’s aggressive campaign against illegal drugs in the Philippines, according to official statistics.

In 2017, the Philippines withdrew from the International Criminal Court to protest what it alleged was a “well-orchestrated campaign …to crucify President Duterte and the Philippines” over the campaign against illegal drugs.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that earlier in the month, Duterte dismissed countries indicating support for the move as “idiots”.

Most of the supporters were European countries, and Iceland.

Iceland, which tabled the proposal, was scoffed at by Duterte as a place where “there is no clear day and night” and where “they just go about eating ice”.

Senate President Vicente Sotto added fuel to the fire on July 15 when he told a TV station that Iceland “has more unborn babies that they have aborted or killed.

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