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IHL implementation ‘more precarious’ in pandemic, says Locsin

The enforcement of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) has become more precarious amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said Thursday.

"IHL implementation becomes even more precarious in the pandemic. Social and economic fragility in conflict areas is further exacerbated," the country's top diplomat said in his video message on IHL Day.

"There is a sudden shift of resources, capacities and reports away from conflict casualties to addressing pandemic and its victims," he added.

He also took a jab at the communist rebels in the country, who recently used anti-personnel mines, which violates the IHL.

"Some actors may take advantage of the situation to advance their interest. The recent use by the New People's Army of prohibited anti-personnel mines are cases in point," said Locsin.

"Soldiers and civilians, including a minor, were among casualties... The ones behind them must answer for their savagery," he added.

Locsin underscored that humanitarian relief must be unhampered especially in war-torn areas.

"The denial of medical care and vaccination as leverage for political bargaining is nothing but war waged with impunity," he said.

Drug dealing not a human right

At one point in his message, Locsin said drug dealing as an "anti-humanitarian" crime.

"By the way, drug dealing is not a human right. It is not a protected occupation. It is a supremely anti-humanitarian crime for targeting humans in their weakest point. By undermining and eventually erasing their will to resist its domination," the foreign affairs chief said.

President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that proliferation of drugs is still an issue in the country despite making the eradication of narcotics as one of his campaign promises.—LDF, GMA News



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