DILG to probe new rights abuse issue vs DuterteBy Jamie Marie Elona
MANILA, Philippines—Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo created Friday a fact-finding team to investigate the alleged human rights violation of former mayor and now Davao City vice-mayor Rodrigo Duterte after he allegedly “forced” an inmate to “eat and swallow a fake land title he allegedly used in duping informal settlers in the city.”
“I have ordered the creation of a fact-finding team which will include DILG officials from Region 11 to get to the bottom of the case. I can understand the cries against Duterte’s human rights violations but he must also be subjected through the legal process,” Robredo said in a statement.
However, Robredo said no formal complaint against Duterte has been filed by Manolito Gayas, a suspected swindler, who was allegedly forced to eat the fake lot documents he was selling to informal settlers in Davao City for P250 each.
The incident reportedly occurred last Tuesday after Duterte came to see Gayas who was then arrested for his alleged swindling activities.
The DILG said the incident caused a howl of protest from human rights advocates, including Human Rights Commissioner Etta Rosales and Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso, chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Canon Law.
“I understand and sympathize with the concerns and cries of human rights groups and advocates. But we first need to have the formal complaint of Mr. Gayas and the side of vice mayor Duterte before we can make our conclusions and recommendations on the matter,” Robredo said.