Iceland move on drug war puzzles Duterte

July 16, 2019
Salvador Panelo

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte remains at a loss over Iceland’s push for a United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) investigation into the human-rights situation in the Philippines, Malacañang said Tuesday.

In a Palace briefing, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo claimed that Duterte “can’t even understand why Iceland is making that posturing.”

“Iceland has been doing that I think twice, last year ganoon din ang posisyon niya eh and the other year,” Panelo said.

“Until now, he is in wonderment why Iceland is doing that,” he added.

Last week, the 48-member UNHRC adopted an Iceland resolution, which urged the human-rights body to investigate alleged violation of human rights in the Philippines in view of the killings during the Duterte administration’s drug war.

This prompted Duterte to seriously consider cutting ties with Iceland.

Panelo, who is also Duterte’s chief legal counsel, said that “some activists” could be behind the wrong information in Iceland’s resolution.

“He can only speculate… or the two of us can only speculate that maybe some activists either from this country or elsewhere are feeding Iceland with the wrong information. And Iceland naman is so naïve to accept everything that it hears or receives,” he said.

Asked if he believes that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) could be behind the false narratives as earlier suggested by the Philippine National Police (PNP), Panelo said: “Alam mo kone-konektado iyon. Alam mo ngayon ang mga organization, maraming links eh. So, maybe that’s part of their program.”

Earlier, PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde said the communist group could be behind the Iceland resolution, noting that the CPP has “contacts and connections” that could possibly influence the UN.