The Philippine government said it would not implement the United Nations’ recommendations to legalize abortion, divorce and same-sex marriage.
Justice Secretary Jesus Chrispin Remulla told the country’s largest newspaper, Manila Times, that the country is not culturally ready for this: “Culturally, our values are probably at odds with many of the values they (Western countries) want to impose on us.”
Justice Undersecretary Raul Vasquez added that the recommendations were roundly rejected by the Philippine delegation “because of our national identity, religious beliefs and cultural traditions, as well as Philippine sovereignty, which must be protected and upheld at all times.”
The recommendations were made by the United Nations Human Rights Council in the Universal Periodic Review published in late November. The periodic review examines progress in the promotion and protection of human rights by the 193 member states through the other member states.
Of the 117 countries that participated in the review this year, only 15 gave negative ratings to the Philippines’ efforts, Remulla said.
“These are the usual countries that always pick on the Philippines. They are rich countries from Europe that put a lot, a lot of emphasis on individual rights and have no idea about community rights. But I think we did very well,” the justice secretary said.
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