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Philippines earns seat in UN Human Rights Council

The Philippine Delegation to the United Nations led by Permanent Representative Teodoro T. Locsin Jr. with Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the UN General Assembly, after the Philippines won its bid for a seat in the UN Human Rights Council during elections in New York on Friday. (Photo Courtesy: DFA)The Philippines on Friday, October 12 secured a seat at the United Human Rights during elections in New York, as per the Department of Foreign Affairs.

According to Ambassador Teodoro Locsin, the country garnered around 165 votes of 192 votes, granting the country another three-year term in the council. The country will be among 47-member states of the council from 2019 to 2021, following its election in 2015. The Philippines first served in the Council from 2007 to 2009, and then from 2012 to 2014.

“Our election to another term in the Human Rights Council would not have been possible without the support of other UN Member-States who clearly understood where we are coming from,” DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said after he was informed of the election results by Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Teddy Locsin, Jr.

The HRW earlier said UN countries must show their outrage against the Philippines and Eritrea by keeping them off the council. The group cited the administration’s drug war, citing more than 12,000 suspected drug dealers have been killed in anti-drug operations — a huge jump from the government data showing 4,000 have been neutralized — as well as the attacks on human rights defenders.

The group also cited the slew of verbal attacks against UN representatives such as Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard and High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who have made public statements against the administration’s war on drugs.

“Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s abusive ‘war on drugs’ has been a killing frenzy that has left thousands dead. In Eritrea, the authorities persecute and jail government critics and force citizens into indefinite national service,” the group said in a statement.

In response, Cayetano said critics of the Philippine government’s war against drug are merely being loud to solicit more funds from donors.

If you want to talk human rights, we’re here. Upuan natin. But if you just want to criticize us from afar and don’t want to give solutions, and just keep saying kayo tama kami mali, it’s helping no one except you and your finances,” Cayetano said.

The UN General Assembly also elected the following member states: Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Somalia, Togo, and Uruguay.



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