By Maricel Cruz – Manila Standard
The election of the Philippines to another term in the UN Human Rights Council is an implied vote of confidence by the international community on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against illegal drugs and criminality, a reelectionist congressman said on Tuesday.
Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte of Camarines Sur also said that the Philippines’ election to the UNHCR should prod Malacañang to maintain the anti-illegal drugs campaign.
Villafuerte said the Philippines’ reelection to the UNHRC should “mute the political noise generated by his critics who have been bellyaching about human rights non-issues ever since he won the presidency in 2016.”
“This incessant bellyaching about supposed human rights concerns has become a lost cause for the political opposition in the face of this virtual stamp of approval from the global community but also the overwhelming support of Filipinos for the President’s anti-drugs campaign as reflected in the results of public opinion polls on his watch,” Villafuerte said.
On Oct. 12, the country retained its seat in the 47-member UNHCR and will serve for three more years ending 2021. It received 165 out of the 192 votes cast.
Earlier, Villafuerte said local government officials have “an obligation to their constituents to support the President’s relentless war against narco-traffickers and their cohorts in the government and the police.”
In 2016, Villafuerte filed a bill seeking to create a drug rehabilitation center in Libmanan, Camarines Sur.
He added that barangay officials can also assist the national government in rehabilitating drug users by helping drug dependents who can still be treated as outpatients in their localities.
He said “many drug rehabilitation cases can still be treated as outpatient cases. Thus, there’s no need to confine them in rehabilitation centers. If we can address cases in the barangay level through the assistance of barangay health workers, we would be addressing the problem at the grassroots and could thus prevent further deterioration of drug rehab cases.”