Duterte: Cutting diplomatic ties with Iceland may hurt OFWs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 17) — President Rodrigo Duterte said while he is "seriously considering" severing diplomatic ties with Iceland, he says doing so may affect Filipinos working in the Nordic island.

On Wednesday, Duterte addressed the issue on the show of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, saying, "Sabi ko [I said], I'm seriously considering but it might affect relations between our citizens and the host country. They might not like the way we behave towards them and so it would prompt them to take measures. I hope they would not do it, but I would not also take it sitting down."

The President said he learned there were around 2,000 Filipinos working in Iceland.

Duterte said he was surprised by Iceland's move on the resolution.

Iceland filed a draft resolution requesting the UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet to look into the country's human rights situation and present a "comprehensive written report" at the UNHRC's 44th session. The UN body is now on its 41st session.

The resolution was approved by 18 countries including Australia, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Fourteen countries including China, India, and Qatar voted in the negative.

READ: UN council adopts resolution calling for probe into PH human rights situation

This was rejected by the government, and Duterte said Iceland did not understand the problems of the Philippines.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr. said the resolution will have no effect.

"Such resolutions, especially those passed by a tiny minority can and will be ignored. No consequences," Locsin said on Twitter.

Locsin also warned that the "initiative to insult the Philippines with the assumption without proof that it commits gross abuses" will have "far reaching consequences.”

In a message to CNN Philippines on Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said, "The adopted Iceland resolution is grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan. It reeks of nauseating politics completely devoid of respect for the sovereignty of our country.”