Press Release
March 12, 2018

Dispatch from Crame No. 260:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's Statement on Harry Roque's attack on the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights


Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque is the proverbial fly sitting on top of the carabao. He thinks that by virtue of sitting on top of the carabao, he has gained the stature to cross swords with a lion.

Roque boasts to UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad al-Hussein that the Philippines, unlike Jordan, is a democracy. But what this Philippine common housefly is boasting to a royal prince of Jordan is just a shadow of what remains of Philippine democracy.

Under Duterte, Philippine democracy has been gradually but steadily exterminated, with all other independent branches of government collapsing under the weight of an authoritarian regime that has all but snuffed out the remaining hold-outs to one-man rule. Soon none of these hold-outs will remain. Not the Supreme Court, not the Ombudsman, and not even the Senate.

Roque might be so proud of the state of Philippine democracy under Duterte as to make him forget his own true stature in the scheme of international relations and diplomacy, and dare challenge an accomplished UN diplomat and former president of the United Nations Security Council who, unlike Roque, is not a fake human rights defender.

There is an appropriate advice to Roque in the vernacular. Before even thinking of getting into a fight with someone of the Jordanian Prince's stature and accomplishments, he first needs to eat more rice.

Most importantly, Roque is missing the whole point here. The UN High Commissioner is not even speaking for Jordan as a Jordanian diplomat, but for the UNHRC as UN High Commissioner defending officials of international human rights agencies and institutions against the attacks of a death squad leader with a highly toxic global image. In doing so, Roque, has recklessly and needlessly tussled with an entire Arab country, just for the sake of scoring against the UN High Commissioner.

Al Hussein and Jordan do not even have to blink for a retort of their own. They might as well point out that, at least, they don't have a psychopath for a President, or a fake human rights lawyer for a spokesperson.

Nakakahiya ka, Harry Roque, at ang amo mo...

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