By Leslie Ann Aquino
For some Catholic prelates, the election of the Philippines to the UN Human Rights Council was ironic yet inspiring at the same time.
“It is very ironic yet inspiring that we have to be serious and true for the promotion of human rights; respect and preservation of human lives,” Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos said.
“Now, we have to prove ourselves that we value lives more than any material thing; we don’t sacrifice people over profit nor personal interest,” he added.
The country’s membership to the UN Human Rights Council, Bishop Santos said should serve as a “challenge” for us to improve and work harder for the wellbeing of our people.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said since we are part of the council, we can now demand more respect for human rights from the government.
“We can demand more respect for human rights from our government since we are part of the human rights council. It can serve the cause of human rights advocates,” he said.
But for Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, the country does not deserve a seat in the said council especially under the present administration.
“I find it strange and ironic! Our country does not deserve this seat under Duterte! Wrong decision of those who voted this position for the Philippines,” he said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier announced that the Philippines won its bid to keep its seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council during elections held in New York on Friday.
In his report to DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Ambassador Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN, said the Philippines garnered 165 out of the 192 votes cast by member-states.