MANILA—The Philippines' recent election to the United Nations Human Rights Council is proof the Duterte administration respects human rights, Malacañang said Saturday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the country's reelection to the council for another three-year term is "a recognition that our government respects human rights and will not tolerate abuse by those in authority."
"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," he said in a statement.
According to Panelo, UN member-states voted for the Philippines because they recognized illegal drugs as a global problem.
"The Philippines is at the forefront of this gigantic fight and is showing the way how to slay the dragon of destruction," he said.
"With the county's re-election, the President's campaign against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality has, in effect, been acknowledged by the international community as essential to the protection of the right to life, liberty and property of every peace-loving and law-abiding citizen of our State."
The Palace also thanked UN Human Rights Council and the states that voted for the Philippines for recognizing the Duterte administration's efforts and "brand of human rights advocacy."
"We thank and commend the UN Human Rights Council, as well as the States that supported our country’s bid, for affirming the Philippines’ brand of human rights advocacy under the Duterte administration as truly responsive to our people’s needs and aspirations for a better and more dignified life," he said.
The Philippines on Friday won a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council despite strong opposition from an international human rights group, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said.
The Philippines garnered 165 votes of 192 votes cast by member-states, the DFA said in a statement.
With the victory, the Philippines will get to serve another three-year term in the 47-member Council based in Geneva from 2019 to 2021.
Aside from the Philippines, the 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 serving a fresh three-year term in the Council after its election in 2015. It is serving as Vice President representing the Asia-Pacific Group, according to the DFA. The Philippines first served in the Council from 2007 to 2009 and then from 2012 to 2014.