FOREIGN Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano reminded American and European critics of President Duterte respect is a two-way street.
In a statement issued on April 22, Cayetano said: “We do not need others who think they know better than us Filipinos to tell us what to do.”
“As a sovereign nation, the Philippines deserves the same kind of respect we have been extending to our friends in the international community,” the chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs said.
Cayetano issued the statement after Duterte received flak for the statements he issued on the case of Sister Patricia Fox.
Fox, 71 and reportedly a longtime resident of the Philippines, was detained by the Bureau of Immigration on the orders of Duterte. The Commander in Chief admitted he did order an investigation into Fox.
“While we note that the United States and other entities such as the European Parliament have their own reporting mechanisms, the Philippines has its own internal processes and mechanisms to ensure that the human rights of all our people are protected and respected,” Cayetano said in a statement, issued five days after the release of Fox on April 17.
“We would like to emphasize that our vigorous campaign against criminality, most especially against the illegal-drug trade, seeks to promote the welfare and protect the human rights of all Filipinos— to save lives, to preserve families, to protect communities and stop the country from sliding into a narco-state,” Cayetano said.
“We assure the international community that in the conduct of our campaign, we will remain guided by the rule of law embodied in our Constitution, which also enshrines the country’s long-standing tradition of upholding human rights,” he added.