FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. on Thursday branded as inaccurate British Ambassador Asif Ahmad’s statement that change has indeed come to the Philippines but not in a “good way.”
“I’m not sure if that is a very diplomatic statement but I would take issue with that statement as being not accurate,” Yasay told reporters.
He maintained that change has come for the better because the Philippines has a president who is committed to real and meaningful change.
Ahmad in a recent interview raised concern over the killing of suspected criminals and drug suspects.
“Of course there are some side effects and downside of that change but these are things that we are trying to manage in a manner that they would not overpower the positive results and benefits that we are trying to pursue,” Yasay said.
The British ambassador also mentioned the plan to reinstate the death penalty which he claimed could negatively affect the country considering that the Philippines is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to the Second Optional Protocol.
Yasay noted that the treaties have the same force and effect of laws and it cannot supervene or override the constitution of the country.
He explained that the Philippine constitution does not prohibit death penalty. In fact, it mandates congress with the duty of making sure that if it feels appropriate to impose the capital punishment, it can do it.
“A statement like this to my mind is really putting the cart in front of the horse, in a manner of speaking. It is premature. Let’s see and find out the true justifications, if at all it will be imposed, is going to be imposed,” added the DFA secretary.
Yasay added that the British ambassador may be referring to the context of his country’s experience with the death penalty that is why he is questioning the efforts of the Philippines to re-impose it.