The Duterte government's vote against a United Nations resolution on the Rohingya crisis is heartless and illogical.
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano explanation of the government's No vote baffles the mind. How can voting no to a UN resolution calling for Rohingyan refugees' full and unhindered access to humanitarian aid ensure humanitarian aid to the Rohingyan people?
Our country's No vote is a shameful reversal of the Philippines' previous position on the Rohingya when in 2015 it offered refuge to the thousands of migrants fleeing persecution from Burma and who had been stranded for months on boats after being repeatedly rejected by other countries in the region.
The government's excuse that it refrains from supporting politicized issues is reprehensible. The Rohingyan crisis is not some politicized issue that can be dismissed. Rather, it is a grave human rights issue that demands political courage from our leaders. Unfortunately, by voting No, the Duterte government missed the opportunity to demonstrate political will and leadership where it truly mattered.
Source: Senate of the Philippines