Philippine President Duterte Wants To Abolish His Own Constitutionally Mandated Human Rights Commission — Step Toward Dictatorship?

By:  – Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
 / 09:31 AM July 25, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to abolish the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which has been critical of his administration’s war on drugs and alleged human rights abuses.

“And when the time comes, ‘yung CHR, ‘yung opisina dito (the CHR, this office), you are better abolished,” Duterte said in a press conference after his second State of the Nation (Sona) at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on Monday.

He said he would not allow the police or the military to be investigated by the commission without asking a request from him.

“I will not allow my men to go there to be investigated. Human Rights Commission, you address your request through me because the Armed Forces is under me and the police is under me. Kaya ‘pag kinuwestyon ninyo sila for investigation, dadaan muna sa akin (That’s why if you have to question them for investigation, they will have to go over me),” he said.

READ: Duterte to CHR, Ombudsman: Tell me before you probe cop or soldier

The CHR, created under the 1987 Constitution, was tasked to investigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights.

The CHR has earned the ire of Duterte after it investigated alleged police abuses under his administration’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs.

Ombudsman not exempted

Aside from the CHR, Duterte also warned the Office of the Ombudsman to refrain from citing in contempt government officials.

“And for the Ombudsman to refrain from citing them in contempt for what. Because I have the authority to give the final say whether they will attend or not. Takot-takutin nila ‘yang ano. So huwag ninyo akong pilitin na pati kayo, babanggain ko (They may try to intimidate (my people). So don’t force me to go against you),” he said.

The Ombudsman is tasked to investigate and prosecute government officials accused of crimes, particularly graft and corruption.

“Pagka nagkabanggaan tayo dito tapos ganito na ang nangyari sa Pilipinas, may problema tayo sa totoo lang (If we lock horns, and this happens to the Philippines, we will have a problem). Do not ‘yung paborito ninyong (resort to your favorite) swan song that you will be investigated by this, by that,” Duterte said.

The President said investigations against the police and military should be addressed to him through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“Attention DILG. ‘Pag sinabi kong huwag kayo magpa-imbestiga, huwag kayong magpapaimbestiga (If I tell you not to subject yourselves to an investigation, do not),” he said. IDL

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Abolish CHR? Take it up in Charter change talks – CHR chair

By:  – Reporter / @jgamilINQ
 / 04:03 PM July 25, 2017

Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/ GRIG MONTEGRANDE)

MANILA — In response to President Duterte’s statement that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is “better abolished,” the chair of the constitutionally created body has issued a gentle reminder that it would take constitutional amendments or Charter change to do that.

“Any discussion to abolish CHR or any other institution for that matter can be taken in the proposed constitutional-reform process… In other words, we shall cross the bridge when we get there,” CHR chair Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon said in a text message to media on Tuesday, when sought for his reaction to Duterte’s rants against human rights advocates during his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) and his subsequent press conference on Monday evening.

Duterte  said in the press conference that the CHR, which has kept a watchful and disapproving eye on state-perpetrated abuses in the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs and declaration of
martial law in Mindanao, was “better abolished.”

“I will not allow my men to go there to be investigated. Human Rights Commission, you address your request through me because the Armed Forces is under me and the police is under me,” Duterte  warned.

Gascon, in his statement, simply responded that “The CHR has a constitutional mandate and will continue its responsibilities of fact-finding and documenting of human rights violations as well as
inform the public about the importance of human rights in society.”

“I remain hopeful human rights will be affirmed,” Gascon said, although he also admitted that Duterte’s statements during the SONA and the press conference “remove any doubt regarding the attitude his administration will take towards respecting the human rights guarantees enshrined in the Constitution.”

“The actions during the first year of his presidency coupled with his words said over the same period exhibits an utter disregard for due process, equal protection, and other civil liberties. This has encouraged the deepening of impunity,” Gascon said.

“The CHR asks the public to continue to remain steadfast in advancing human rights,” Gascon added.  SFM/rga

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Ombudsman Morales amused by Duterte rant

Anti-graft prober tells President to review what she really said about his ‘kill threat’ to criminals
By:  – Reporter / @VinceNonatoINQ
 / 08:19 PM July 17, 2017
Image may contain: 3 people, people sitting

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / VINCE NONATO)

MANILA — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales was only “amused by so much ado about something she did not say.”

This was in response to President Duterte’s challenge for her to point to a law barring him from threatening to kill criminals.

In a terse statement on Monday, the Office of the Ombudsman saw the need to correct his misimpression on Morales’ view of his threats.

“She did not say anything about any law against threatening criminals. The president should review what she said first,” the Ombudsman said.

Besides saying Morales “stands by” her remarks in an interview with NHK World aired Thursday night, the statement noted that “the Ombudsman does not find it necessary to say anything more.”

It may be recalled that in her NHK World interview, Morales said Duterte was “goading people to kill people.”

“The directive to kill people under any situation irrespective of the context to me, that’s not acceptable,” she said on Thursday.

Although Morales’ remarks this time were scathing, she acknowledged during the Meet the Inquirer Multimedia forum in December that “it’s not illegal to say I will kill you.”  SFM

Image may contain: 2 people

President Rodrigo Duterte during the mass oathtaking of presidential appointees and officers of various organizations at Malacanang on July 17, 2017. (PHOTO BY JOAN BONDOC / INQUIRER)

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One Response to “Philippine President Duterte Wants To Abolish His Own Constitutionally Mandated Human Rights Commission — Step Toward Dictatorship?”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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