Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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PH re-election TO UN rights body grossly misleading – Hontiveros

The Philippines did not “win” a seat in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) but barely held on to it, according to an opposition senator.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Monday sought to correct what she described as the Duterte administration’s misunderstanding of the Philippines’ retention of its place in the UN rights body.

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The Philippine National Police and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) on Monday joined Malacañang in asserting that the country’s reelection to the UNHRC was a vindication of the Duterte administration’s brutal war on drugs.

But Hontiveros said the Philippines’ extended inclusion in the UNHRC was “grossly misleading.”

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“It exposes the government’s ignorance of the UN’s complex dynamic. The Duterte government cannot claim winning a seat on the UNHRC when all UN member states agreed to take turns sitting on the council,” she said in a statement.

More than a seat in the council, what Filipinos need and deserve is “a place among the civilized nations,” according to Sen. Leila de Lima.

“In any case, reelection cannot simply erase the Duterte administration’s egregious record of human rights violations,” De Lima said in a statement.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) had a more conservative reaction to the country’s election.

“The election of the Philippines was expected because the Asian group fielded as many candidates as there were seats in the [UNHRC],” CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit said in a statement.

“Much work needs to be done to address the continuing serious human rights violations in the country … Accompanying the candidacy for seeking a seat in the council are the human rights pledges,” Dumpit said.

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Validated PNP efforts

For the PNP, the election validated its efforts in fighting the drug menace.

“[It is] a clear manifestation of the international community’s recognition of our steady progress in fulfilling international human rights obligations,” PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde said during a press conference at Camp Crame on Monday.

The DDB said the country’s election was an acknowledgement that it was pursuing a “balanced and holistic approach” in addressing the drugs scourge.

“The antidrug policies and priorities of the Philippine government is responsive to the thrusts of the global community and responds directly to the UN Secretary General’s pronouncements. This is on top of the country’s adherence to the treaties and conventions prescribed by UN bodies,” DDB Chair Catalino Cuy said.

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TAGS: CHR, Commission on Human Rights, Dangerous Drugs Board, DDB, Karen Gomez-Dumpit, Leila de Lima, PNP, Risa Hontiveros, UN Human Rights Council, UNHRC
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