The UN Human Rights Council on Thursday narrowly approved a resolution mandating a "comprehensive" global review of the Philippines drug war, which watchdogs say has killed more than 20,000 people.
The first resolution on the Philippines, led by Iceland, was adopted by a vote of 18 countries in favour and 14 against, including China.
Critics of the Philippine president's deadly anti-drug campaign said Friday that a vote by the U.N.'s top human rights body to look into the thousands of deaths of suspects is a crucial step toward bringing perpetrators to justice and helping end the killings.
The Philippine foreign minister, Teodoro Locsin, in a statement read by his ambassador in Geneva, denounced the resolution as a travesty of human rights that came "straight from the mouth of the queen in Alice in Wonderland".
Iceland joined the Human Rights Council previous year after the Trump administration said the United States would leave the body, which resulted in an open seat.
Eighteen countries voted in favor of adopting the resolution submitted by Iceland before the UNHRC on July 4 to launch the preliminary investigation.
United Nations human rights experts called last month for an investigation into the "staggering number" of extrajudicial killings, which the Philippines' human rights commission has estimated could run to more than 27,000.
Locsin said "there will be consequences" for Western countries pushed for the probe. "Thus, the Philippines rejects this resolution", he added.
In a statement Amnesty International's Nicholas Bequelin said the United Nations resolution "provides hope for thousands of bereaved families in the Philippines, and countless more Filipinos bravely challenging the Duterte administration's murderous "war on drugs".
Philippine activists say tens of thousands are being killed as police terrorize poor communities, using cursory drug "watch lists" to identify suspected users or dealers, and executing many in the guise of sting operations. "The resolution is grotesquely one-sided, outrageously narrow and maliciously biased", said Panelo last night. According to media reports and human rights activists, number of victims is between 27,000 and 30,000, counting the murders committed by vigilantes. There will be consequences: far-reaching ones. Human Rights Watch said more than 12,000 people have died.
President Rodrigo Duterte speaks in front of housewives and mothers who participated in the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the provincial government and Duterte's war on drugs at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, Philippines December 22, 2016. Police say her father Renato had used her as a human shield. "Let them state their goal and I will review, he told reporters Thursday, CNN Philippines reported".
"Should it proceed impartially, we are certain that its result will only lead to the humiliation of the investigators, as well as of Iceland and the 17 other nations supporting it, since there never has been - nor will there ever be - state-sponsored killings in this part of the world".