Amidst all the human rights violations criticisms thrown at President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on supposed extrajudicial killings (EJK) issues which are constantly associated with the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign, the Philippines was able to secure another term as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
Frustrating calls from rights groups, the European Union and opponents of President Duterte to have the country dislodged from the body, the Philippines got a clear majority of 165 votes out of 192 member-states during the UNHRC elections held on Friday, October 12, 2018, in New York.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the Philippines was able to secure the victory despite a well-orchestrated effort by non-government groups to paint a wrong picture of the human rights situation in the country.
Secretary Cayetano said UN member-states “clearly understood where we are coming from.”
“Our successful bid to keep our seat in the Council is proof that many in the international community remain convinced the Philippines respects and protects human rights and have seen through the efforts of some to politicize and weaponize the issue,” Cayetano said.
The Philippines will get to serve another three-year term in the 47-member Council based in Geneva from 2019 to 2021.
Other member-states elected by the general assembly were Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eritrea, Fiji, India, Italy, Somalia, Togo, and Uruguay.
The Philippines is currently serving a three-year term in the council after its election in 2015 and is serving as vice president representing the Asia-Pacific group.
The Philippines first served in the Council from 2007 to 2009 and then from 2012 to 2014.