MANILA - The Philippines' reelection to the United Nations Human Rights Council was a "big irony," an opposition lawmaker said Saturday.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano said the country's reelection was a "blatant disrespect to the families of the victims of human rights violations under the Duterte administration."
"A big irony took place this week when the Philippines won a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council in New York. A country that has numerous cases of human rights violations has no place in the Council," Alejano said in a statement.
"Paano magagampanan ng Pilipinas ang mga responsibilidad na kaakibat ng pag-upo sa Human Rights Council kung sa sarili niyang bakuran ay laganap ang patayan at mga paglabag sa mga karapatang pantao?"
(How will the Philippines perform responsibilities under the Human Rights Council if in its own backyard there are widespread killing and human rights violations?)
Alejano pointed out that President Rodrigo Duterte admitted to extrajudicial killings under his drug war.
"Duterte claims it champions human rights, but his actions and policies say otherwise. The policies under the Duterte Administration have perpetuated a culture of impunity and violence," he said.
Malacañang, meanwhile, has defended the Duterte administration’s human rights track record.
"Getting a seat in the UN Human Rights Council is a repudiation of the critics and detractors on President Duterte's unrelenting war against illegal drugs," Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
The Philippine government has several times denied involvement in summary killings, saying drug suspects slain in police anti-drug operations had put up violent resistance.