Re-electionist Senator Leila M. de Lima commended the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for voting in favor of a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Resolution condemning the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine.
De Lima also lauded DFA for taking a firm stand on the issue and not siding with the non-foreign service officials of the Duterte Administration who earlier pronounced that the Philippines should stay neutral on Russia’s military adventurism in Ukraine.
“I commend the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the vote at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) signifying the Philippines’ condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” she said.
“I laud the DFA for its resounding affirmation that staying neutral does not bode well for our standing in the global community as it goes against our commitments to uphold the fundamental ideals of peace, freedom and justice,” she added.
In a statement at the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, the Philippines joined the chorus of nations calling for an end to hostilities, saying, “Mr. President, the Philippines votes Yes to the UNGA resolution and expresses explicit condemnation of the invasion of Ukraine.”
Crisis between the two countries has intensified following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to deploy troops to two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.
By not staying neutral, De Lima said that the Philippines is proclaiming unequivocally to the world that powerful nations should not act as bullies against their smaller neighbors.
“We should be clear that there is no room for blackmail using superior might and overwhelming force to intimidate, coerce, and threaten sovereign nations as they charter their own course in the international stage as chosen by their people,” she said.
De Lima maintained that Russia’s premeditated attack on Ukraine, which is unprovoked and without justifiable cause, violates the UN Charter and constitutes the crime of aggression which is a crime against humanity.
“No nation that upholds the values enshrined in the UN Charter and that calls for an international rules-based regime should remain standing on the sidelines while a powerful nation rolls its tanks into, and bombs the cities of a weaker one,” she said.
In addition to the DFA’s UNGA statement, De Lima pointed out that the Philippines should categorically call on Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine.
“The Russian army should withdraw from Ukraine immediately and leave its people in peace. Ukraine is no longer part of Russia, and longs for its own future as a sovereign nation in its own right. No country can stop another from choosing its own path,” she said.
“I offer my prayers for the people of Ukraine, and for the enlightenment of the Russian leadership to end this war,” she added.