Aguirre says Gascon resignation may be good for CHR
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II believes that it will be good for the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) if its chairman Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon resigns.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) chief told reporters on Thursday that he understood the sentiment of the members of the majority in the House of Representatives who gave the CHR only P1,000 budget for 2018.
Aguirre said the CHR under Gascon only dealt with issuing condemnations of killings purportedly committed by police scalawags. The rights body, however, has been silent on heinous crimes committed by drug addicts, he added.
He cited the death of Aurora Carlos, her daughter Estrella and three children in Bulacan last June 27. The DOJ chief said no representative from the CHR showed up to help the victims’ relatives.
“They should have protected the human rights of everybody. What is the difference [between] these minors who were killed by drug traffickers and the minors killed by police scalawags? Nothing. They are both innocents, but the leadership focus (of the CHR) only sees one side. They do not protect the human rights of everybody,” Aguirre told reporters in an ambush interview at the 3rd International Dialogue on Human Trafficking at New World Hotel in Makati.
When asked about his view on calls for Gascon to resign, he said: “If his resignation would help ease (the situation with Congress). We know who appointed him and that is why he would only look at one side of the situation.”
Gascon, a human rights advocate, was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III. Prior to his appointment, he served as director general of the Liberal Party (LP). His seven-year term will end in 2022.
Aguirre said the budget slash should serve as a wake-up call for the CHR.
“This has to be an eye opener for members of the CHR. They still have a chance since the Senate will still decide. I believe that the Human Rights Commission should continue but they should do what is right,” Aguirre added.
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