THE Philippine government underscored Sunday the Duterte administration's respect for human rights as it joined the world in the observance of the International Human Rights Day.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the country is an active member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), and has respect for human rights as State policy is enshrined in the 1987 Constittion.

Local and international human rights groups have been accusing the Duterte administration for violating human rights due to alleged extrajudicial killings in the wake of the government's war on drugs.

"The Duterte administration works hard with the best interest of every Filipino, especially the poor and the marginalized and most vulnerable, as its main concern," Roque said in a statement.

These are the women and children in crises situations, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, migrant workers, older persons, people and communities displaced by natural and human-induced calamities, among others, he added.

"The best way to do this is to ensure government efficiency and effectiveness that will translate to every Filipino getting a fighting chance to overcome poverty, to uplift one’s status in society and to live a life with higher dignity. That direction is what inspires the government’s compliance with its human rights obligations," he said.

Citing what a Nobel Peace Prize winner once said, Roque said: "Poverty is the absence of human rights."

He said the government would strive to bestow upon every Filipino an equal share in the nation's progress.

"And we are pleased that this direction has been accepted by no less than the highest peer review body in the world on all matters of human rights, which is the UNHRC, when it unanimously accepted and commended the Outcome Report on the Philippines’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) this year," Roque said. (SDR)