(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte criticized what he termed as “so-called friends” of the Philippines but judge his government’s war on drugs with “preconceived notions.”
“Some so-called friends act like they know the answers to our problems and impervious to our socio-economic and political conditions. They create rules and norms for almost everyone, and some refuse to be bound by the same,” he said during his speech at the plenary session of forum of the Valdai International Discussion Club on Oct. 3.
“Think of the UNCLOS, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and even the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They weaponize human rights oblivious to its damaging consequences to the very people they seek to protect,” he said.
Duterte also expressed his dissatisfaction that some partner countries hurled “unfair criticisms” against his drug war.
“Some of our partners have hurled unfair criticisms against my Government about perceived excesses in our fight against drugs. They see what they want to see to justify their preconceived notions, and not trying to understand that what truly is happening is there in my country,” he said.
“Is this how friends treat each other?”
-Duterte: We want our friends to respect our independence”
The 74-year old Duterte, who is in Russia for his second trip since becoming Philippine president, explained that he just wanted “fairness and equality,” and hit at double standards being implemented by certain international organizations and countries.
“We have seen them backtrack from defense contracts over baseless apprehensions that we would use arms to violate human rights. Yet, you see the same countries supplying high-end weaponry to parties whose actual human rights record leaves so much to be desired,” the Philippine leader noted.
Duterte told the audience in Sochi that what he only wanted was to protect “our republic from those who wish to tear it apart.”
“We only seek to curb criminality that corrodes the very structure of government. We only seek to build a credible defense against those who might be tempted to violate our territorial integrity. Is this not something that all nations are entitled to? Is this not what democratically elected governments are mandated to do?” he stressed.
Still, he pointed out that he was not against the United States or the West. Nor was he against liberalism, many of whose supporters had been constantly criticizing him on his war on drugs,
“The US is a close friend of the Philippines – in fact, our only treaty ally. We have deep ties with the American people, forged by shared history and nourished by common values,” Duterte said.
And on liberalism, he said that “for a thriving democracy like the Philippines, there is simply no other better alternative to a philosophy that puts premium on the freedom and dignity of the individual.”
“Our issue is not the current global order, but rather the actions of certain actors that violate the very principles that underpin this order,” Duterte said.
“And we want friends and partners to respect our independence to make sovereign decisions just as we respect theirs,” he said.