(UPDATE) THE Philippines has rejected outright the recommendation of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to legalize same-sex marriage, as well as to allow abortion and divorce.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said such recommendations of other UN member-states during last week’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva are “not acceptable.”
“It’s a matter of policy whether we accept it or not and I think we know as a country, we are not ready for that,” Remulla said in a press briefing on Monday.
“Culturally, our values may conflict with many of the values that they (Western countries) want to impose upon us. We are not ready for that, culturally we are not ready for that. That is our position right now,” he added.
“Actually, I think we are the only country together with the Vatican that still does not recognize divorce. We just do not recognize it because the premises of that has not been laid out properly. We want the legislature to do their job,” Remulla said.
He stressed that the matter on divorce is legislative “so we can’t really promise them that.”
“We have to reject it,” he said.
Justice Undersecretary Raul Vasquez said the recommendations were rejected outright by the Philippine delegation “because of national identity, our religious beliefs and our cultural traditions and the Philippine sovereignty that need to be protected and upheld at all times.”
The UPR is a peer review mechanism where the promotion and protection of human rights in all 193 UN member states are reviewed on a regular basis.
Out of the 179 UN member-states, 117 participated in this year’s review.
Remulla said more than 100 member states sided with the Philippines or had positive notes “in the human rights performance of the Philippines.”
He said around 15 UN member-states “remained in the negative.”
“These are the usual countries that always pick on the Philippines. These are the rich countries from Europe that are very, very high on individual rights and have no notion of community rights. But I think we did very well,” the Justice chief said.
The Philippine delegation to UPR accepted more than two-thirds of the recommendations put forth by the reviewing countries.