Duterte speaks during an economic forum in Davao city, in southern Philippines, February 10, 2017. (Photo: CGTN)
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is "seriously considering" cutting his nation's diplomatic ties with Iceland, which spearheaded a UN resolution to look into the thousands of deaths of suspects under his anti-drug crackdown, Duterte's spokesman Salvador Panelo said.
The comments from Panelo came in response to the UN Human Rights Council last week backing the Iceland-proposed resolution to review the killings.
"[Duterte] is seriously considering cutting diplomatic relations with Iceland," Panelo said on Monday in a statement, adding the resolution was "grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow, and maliciously partisan."
Duterte launched the anti-drug crackdown in 2016, and since then police said they had killed over 5,300 drug suspects.
Panelo attacked the UN resolution saying it "likewise demonstrates how the Western powers are scornful of our sovereign exercise of protecting our people."
But Duterte said Wednesday severing ties with the Nordic country could affect some 2,000 Filipinos working there. "I'm seriously considering it might affect the 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," he added.
While the Philippines and Iceland have diplomatic ties, they do not have embassies in each other's country.
Economic ties include Icelandic investment in geothermal energy in the Philippines and Filipinos working as office and factory workers and nurses in Iceland.