Philippines says United Nations rights council seat vindicates Duterte's drug war

Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Teddy Locsin Jr. and Maria Fernanda Espinosa President of the UN General Assembly. DFA handout

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will monitor the Philippines' participation in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to ensure that the country fulfills its obligations as a member of the council.

"Moments ago the UN General Assembly "elected" -amongst others -Bahrain, Philippines and Eritrea to serve on the Human Rights Council in a process that makes a mockery of the word elections (number of candidates matched the number of seats - there was no competition) #HRCelections", Tadros said in a tweet.

Countries that have been widely criticised for severe human rights abuses are among 18 newly elected members of the United Nations' Human Rights' Council.

Despite President Rodrigo Duterte's rhetoric, Palace Spokesperson Salvador Panelo says the Philippines respects human rights.

"Yet again, countries with poor human rights records ran uncontested".

It also condemned the election of Eritrea and Bahrain on the Council citing their government's persecution and jailing of critics and human rights defenders and argued that "grave abuses against residents of the country's Anglophone region" have been committed in Cameroon by government security forces and armed separatists.

Cayetano, in a statement issued shortly after he was informed of the election results, said: "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".

The rights group accused the Duterte administration of conducting a bloody campaign that, it said, had left thousands of drug suspects dead in a "killing frenzy".

Members serve on the council for three years and can have only up to two consecutive terms.

The UN General Assembly in NY approved the new members in a vote on Friday. It meets three times a year and its aim is to promote and protect human rights around the world.

Created in 2006 to replace a commission discredited because of some members' sorry rights records, the new council soon came to face similar criticism.

Former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet assumed the role of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in September this year, succeeding Jordanian diplomat Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, who had in June this year released the first-ever report on Kashmir that was rejected by India.

The new members of the Geneva-based council also include Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, the Czech Republic, Fiji, Italy, Somalia, Togo and Uruguay.

There five countries which have been endorsed by the regional group.

Haley criticized the United Nations on Friday, saying 'the lack of standards continues to undermine the organization'.

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