MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday challenged international groups and some countries to move for the removal of the Philippines from the United Nations, saying that some nations won’t allow that to happen.
In a speech during the inauguration of a new media briefing room at the Palace, Duterte said that Russia, China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation would not allow Manila to be removed from the UN over its ferocious campaign to eradicate illegal drugs.
” You want to expel us? You try. Your $1,000 will earn P1 million if you can expel us from the UN. Bakit papayag kaya ang Russia pati ang China? Ulol pala kayo (You are fools). You think China and the rest of the countries of ASEAN will agree to that?”
According to the chief executive, these countries and groups think that the Philippines is ignorant of the procedure for the removal of a country from the world body, which requires the recommendation of such action from the UN Security Council where Moscow and Beijing hold veto powers.
“Where will be the crucial vote that would come? In the Security Council? You think China and Russia will allow that?” Duterte said in his scathing remarks.
“Is it your decision? You think you can do it? You have to pass for the Security Council. If one of the members would say, ‘Let us talk about this.’ Do you think Russia and China will allow it?” the president added.
Article 6 of the Second Chapter of the UN Charter says that a member of the UN can be removed if it has “persistently violated the principles” of the founding document. It adds that the state or country can be “expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”
Being two of the five permanent members of the body’s security council, Russia and China can veto resolutions, which means that they can prevent the adoption of any substantive resolution.
The president said that no country, not even the US, could dictate on Manila and vowed to bring up the issue of international interference at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Leaders’ Meeting in November where American President Donald Trump is expected to attend.
Over the weekend, Human Rights Watch warned the Philippines that it is risking its membership of the UN Human Rights Council, not of the world organization itself, if it continues with its “murderous” drug war.
John Fisher, the HRW’s advocacy director in Geneva, said Philippine membership in the council entailed the responsibility of upholding the highest standards of human rights and allowing itself to be subjected to the UN’s processes.
Then on Monday, a mission of international parliamentarians and civil society leaders warned that the Philippines might lose its preferential trade deal that allows 6,200 of its products to enter the European Union duty free if it failed to stop the killings and political persecution of critics.
Despite these warnings, the president seemed unfazed and said that China had indicated willingness to buy the country’s exports such as fruits.
He bared during the speech that he had told Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to reject between $18 to $20 million from the United Kingdom, saying that the country will not starve without this foreign money.
“All exports natin binibili ng China (China buys all our exports). China says, ‘I will help you.’ Russia nagpadala nga ng armas e wala pang bayad (Russia will provide us arms for free),” the president bragged.
Philippine Special Envoy to the European Union Edgardo Angara hit this statement as a “gross misrepresentation” and said that the visiting groups did not represent the majority in the European parliament.
The EU also denied that it was involved in the visit of the parliamentarians and said it was wrong to label the visit as an “EU mission.”