Duterte threatens to abolish CHR
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.
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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