Cayetano to UN: Reforms prevent PH from becoming narco state
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano said Saturday reforms being undertaken by the Duterte administration have not only prevented the Philippines from becoming a narco-state, but also helped protect the rights of every Filipino.
“As a sovereign and democratic country led by a duly-elected President, we are on track in salvaging our deteriorating country from becoming a narco-state,” the Department of Foreign Affairs chief said in delivering the Philippine statement during the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
“The Philippines and President (Rodrigo) Duterte are instituting all these reforms to be able to protect the rights of every single Filipino and every single human being living in the Philippines,” he added.
Cayetano said the Philippine government will always choose to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and law enforcers over the rights of drug lords and criminals who seek to kill and destroy.
“Wouldn’t you do the same? Which country, which leader wouldn’t do the same and protect your citizens and protect your law enforcers?” he asked.
Over 4,000 individuals, who were allegedly involved in illegal drugs, have died since Duterte assumed office by middle of 2016 when he declared an all-out war against narcotics.
Cayetano also said the Philippines shares the uncompromising stance of the UN on issues related to rule of law, just and equitable peace that leads to order, development and prosperity, and the protection of the rights of each and every human being.
“We may sometimes differ in how we express ourselves, yet this should not be interpreted as turning our backs on the universal declaration on human rights,” he said.
He also touched on the rights of migrants, saying issues on migration cannot be swept under the rug but should be discussed openly, frankly and thoroughly.
“The Global Compact on Migration is a huge step in the right direction. And this huge step will be even a bigger one if we can get everyone on board,” he said in referring to the international agreement that UN member-states will be adopting in Morocco in December.
At the same time, Cayetano called on member-states to put the interests of the global community above their national interests.
“The UN is the place, the venue of great opportunity, of putting action to our Faith, of changing the world for the better,” he said.
“That is, of course, if we can transcend our personal and sometimes national interest, for the interest of the global community, or simply put for the greater good,” he added.
“Faith without action is dead. And the United Nations is not a place to bury our dead, it is a place to rise up, to resurrect our hopes and dreams of a better world,” he said.
The DFA chief said member-states must exert efforts to connect, to emphasize commonalities and not differences, and to think more as global citizens.
“We don’t always have to act as a community but neither can we ignore the fact that there are many problems which can only be solved by a united global community,” he said. DMS