PH in UNHRC shows int’l ‘confidence’ on Duterte admin’s rights record
The Philippines’ election to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is an indication of the international community’s “confidence” on the “human rights record of the Duterte administration,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said Saturday.
Cayetano hailed the country’s selection to the UNHRC, an inter-governmental body tasked to promote and protect human rights around the world.
The Philippines garnered 165 of the 192 votes to secure a seat in the rights body during the UN General Assembly last Friday. The Philippines is one of the 17 member-states, which would serve a term in the UNHRC from 2018 to 2020.
In a statement, Cayetano thanked human rights advocates but at the same time blasted those “who use human rights for political and financial gain.”
“We thank human rights advocates around the world but also condemn a few who are morally corrupt and who use human rights for political and financial gain,” said Cayetano, who would reportedly leave his post soon to run for congressman in the 2019 midterm elections. President Rodrigo Duterte has named Philippine Ambassador to the UN Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. as the next DFA chief.
According to Cayetano, the Philippines getting 52 votes higher than the 113 votes it received in 2015 to secure a fresh term in the UNHRC despite criticisms on the Duterte administration’s drug war “speaks volumes.”
The Philippines has served three terms in the UNHRC: First from 2007 to 2009, then from 2012 to 2014, and third from 2016 to 2018.
“The numbers speak volumes of the confidence of the international community on the human rights record of the Duterte administration and its vision of keeping each and every Filipino safe and secure,” Cayetano said.
But the recent election of the Philippines — as well as Cameroon, Bahrain, Somalia, Bangladesh, and Eritrea — to the UNHRC did not happen without controversy.
Human rights groups and United States slammed the UN for it latest selection of nations to the UN body, saying these are “unqualified” due to their human rights records.
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