Protesters in the Philippines criticise the government’s abstention on UN’s Israel-Gaza resolution
Yasemin Beyza Uçar
South and East Asia Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
Hundreds of people met on the 31st of October in front of the Israeli embassy to protest against Israel’s harsh attacks on the Gaza Strip (Michael Beltran).
According to health officials, around 10,000 Palestinians, including approximately 3,500 children have been killed since the 7th of October. The protest in Metro Manila resulted from the Philippines’ decision to abstain during a United Nations General Assembly vote. The vote was meant to be on a resolution that called for an instant humanitarian truce between Israel and Hamas (Michael Beltran).
It is crucial to remember that the Philippines is the third-largest buyer of Israeli weapons.
With this decision, the Philippines was the only Southeast Asian nation not to join the other 120 countries that supported the non-binding resolution (Michael Beltran).
The secretary-general of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), Liza Maza, stated that Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s government’s silence on the massacre of a population in occupied Gaza is condemnable and inhume (Michael Beltran).
Furthermore, the protest symbolized the “blind eye” of the Philippines when it came to the genocide in Gaza. Liza Maza stated further that it is not acceptable to be blind just to continue buying weapons from Israel (Michael Beltran).
Sol Iglesias, a professor at the University of the Philippines, stated in an interview that Filipinos want their government to support humanity and protect civilians. He added that silence and abstention are not the right ways to vote for a ceasefire (Michael Beltran).
At a UN Security Council meeting, the Philippines' ambassador, Ariel Penaranda, said they acknowledge Israel's right to self-defence (Michael Beltran).
Israel then stated that they appreciated the Philippine government’s abstention from voting on the “pro-Palestine” United Nations General Assembly resolution (Jacob Lazaro).
The Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Antonio Lagdameo, explained the Philippines' abstention by stating that the resolution did not include the “terrorist attack” in Israel on the 7th of October. Additionally, he said that they (the Philippines) condemn all terrorist attacks and do not agree to ignore the attack on the 7th of October by Hamas as it also led to death among innocent civilians (Joyce Ann L. Rocamora).
Sources and further readings:
Michael Beltran. (2023, October 31). Philippines protesters slam gov’t abstention on UN’s Israel-Gaza resolution. Al Jazeera. Retrieved November 14, 2023, from Philippines protesters slam gov’t abstention on UN’s Israel-Gaza resolution | Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera
Jacob Lazaro. (2023, November 1). Israel ‘appreciates’ PH abstention from UN’s Gaza ceasefire resolution. Inquirer.net. Retrieved November 15, 2023, from Israel ‘appreciates’ PH abstention from UN’s Gaza ceasefire resolution | Global News (inquirer.net)
Joyce Ann L. Rocamora. (2023, October 28). PH backs UN efforts vs. ‘alarming deaths, suffering’ in Gaza, Israel. PNA News agency. Retrieved November 15, 2023, from PH backs UN efforts vs. ‘alarming deaths, suffering’ in Gaza, Israel | Philippine News Agency (pna.gov.ph)