Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0679 0860428
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270428Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3662
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS MANILA 000679
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM KIRF RP
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE – DEFAMATION OF RELIGIONS RESOLUTION
REF: STATE 27376
¶1. (SBU) Post discussed reftel points with the Office of
United Nations and International Organizations (UNIO) of the
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), underscoring U.S.
concerns that the resolution could be used to limit freedom
of religion and expression and curtail legitimate dissent.
Post also provided DFA with a copy of the press release of
the U.S. response to the United Nations Office of the High
Commissioner for Human Rights concerning Combating Defamation
¶2. (SBU) Assistant Director Leila Lorasantos said that DFA
received on March 24 a similarly worded demarche from the EU
and added that, while the Philippines has traditionally
supported OIC resolutions, the government is considering
carefully its position on the current Defamation of Religions
Resolution because of the international scrutiny it has
received. The Director explained that the Philippines is
aware that this is a vital issue and has decided to take an
“observer” position in Geneva. She added that no decision
has been reached on how they would vote if pressed.
¶3. (SBU) COMMENT: Given the Philippines’ previous support for
OIC resolutions concerning racism and defamation of religion,
it is not likely that the government will now instruct its
delegation in Geneva to oppose the current resolution;
however, it does appear that they are willing to abstain.
This would be an improvement from their previous “yes” votes
at the UNGA and HRC. Post will continue to follow up on this
issue in the coming days. END COMMENT.