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PH votes in favor of UN's reso calling ceasefire in Gaza
PH votes in favor of UN's reso calling ceasefire in Gaza
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PH votes in favor of UN's reso calling ceasefire in Gaza
by Christhel Cuazon13 December 2023
Photo courtesy: REUTERS

The Philippines has voted in favor of a United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution seeking to demand a ceasefire in war-torn Gaza, a pivot from its previous decision of abstaining from a call for a "humanitarian truce" between Israel and the militant group Hamas.

The country is among the 153-member states that voted in favor of the resolution at the UNGA emergency special session on Tuesday (NYC Time) while ten voted against, including the United States and Israel , and 23 other countries abstained.

In a speech, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations Antonio Manuel Lagdameo said "the Philippines emphasizes adherence to International Humanitarian Law, especially the principles of proportionality and distinction in response to security threats."

Lagdameo said it is imperative that "any military action considers the impact on civilians and strives to minimize, if not eliminate, collateral damage."

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"While we condemn the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks perpetuated by Hamas, the Philippines emphasizes adherence to international humanitarian law, especially principles of proportionality and distinction in response to security threats," he told the general assembly.

"We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The Philippines believes that a humanitarian ceasefire is crucial to halt the loss of life and suffering. This ceasefire is a necessary step to facilitate the delivery of urgent humanitarian aid to all affected civilians, irrespective of their affiliation," he continued.

The Philippine representative urged all parties to comply with their obligations under international law, particularly regarding the protection of civilians especially women and children.

Lagdameo said Manila is seeking to contribute to a “solution that respects the rights and needs of both Palestinian and Israeli civilians.”

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"We advocate for a peaceful resolution that upholds international law and leads to lasting peace and security in the region," he said.

The Philippines were among those 45-member states who previously opted to abstain from the resolution due to the "notable absence" of the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack, wherein Filipinos were included in the casualties.

At least four Filipino were reportedly killed in Israel since the war broke out.

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