Amid calls from United Nations experts human rights experts to stop extrajudicial killings in the Philippines’ war against drugs, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to leave the UN and even asked what good deed the intergovernmental organization did for the country.
“Maybe we’ll just have to decide to separate from the United Nations. Eh kung ganiyan kayo kabastos eh p—ina, umalis na kami diyan sa inyo,” GMA News Online quoted Duterte during his early Sunday morning press conference.
His outburst came after UN special rapporteur on summary executions Agnes Callamard and UN special rapporteur on the right to health Dainius Puras called on the Philippine government to stop the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.
“When were you here the last time? Never. Except to criticize… When have you done a good deed to my country? We are contributing money,” he added.
Duterte even brought up the possibility of creating a new organization with China, African and Middle Eastern countries.
Asked about the seriousness of his threat to take the Philippines out of the UN, he said he would leave once the UN returned the money contributed by the country to the organization.
“The joke is on you. You have to refund me with so many contributions we have made all these years,” he said.
“Isauli ninyo yung mga contributions, we would go out. We contribute a certain amount for the maintenance of UN, right? You return the money to us and we will go out. With that amount I can build so many rehab centers,” Duterte added.
Asked about what he thought might be the repercussions of his recent statements, he said: “I don’t give a shit to them, they are the one interfering.”
He added that it was the UN and its experts who violated protocol first for slamming his administration.
“Ang bastos hindi ako. They should suffer the repercussions,” Duterte said.
UN did help PH during Yolanda, among others
After Duterte raised the question on when the UN has done a “good deed” for the Philippines, a netizen pointed out the fact that the organization collected $193M to help the Yolanda victims in 2013.
A certain Jade Tamboon said in his post, “In case you missed the early morning meltdown of our President (and I can’t blame you; he enjoys giving bombshell presscons at dawn), here’s one of the choice quotes (and there were so many).
He also said he can’t wait for June 2022, alluding to the time when Duterte’s presidency would end six years from now.
Tamboon posted this photo, as if answering Duterte’s question on how the UN helped the country.
As of this writing, Tamboon’s post has reached 5,700 reactions, 1,437 shares, and 602 comments.
GMA News Online’s tweet about UN’s aid to the Yolanda victims actually has an accompanying article.
According to GMA News’ report, the UN has raised $193 million for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (with an international name Haiyan) that hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013.
The report also quoted UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Valerie Amos: “I would like to thank member states, the private sector and the public around the world for their immense generosity and support for the Filipino people so far. It is clear that their plight has touched everyone.”
Amos also commended the Filipino resilience, saying, “Everywhere I have visited, I saw families determined to rebuild their lives under the most difficult conditions.”
Amos led the relief efforts in Tacloban after Yolanda. She also defended Aquino’s administration, saying that the country was prepared for storms after handling an average of 20 storms per year. However, the scale and severity of the damage left by Yolanda “was something which none of us could have anticipated.”
Even UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Tacloban on December 21, 2013, pledging to rally global support for the Yolanda victims. He said, “Never despair. The UN is behind you. The world is behind you.” To the kids who sang him Christmas jingles, Ban said, “Please hold on. We have come to help you.”
These visits from UN officials prove that Duterte’s tirade against the UN about how they “never” visited the Philippines, except to criticize the country, is not true. More importantly, UN’s support in collecting both in cash and in-kind donations showed that the organization did help the Philippines in a big way at a time when the country was hit by one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded in the world.