Robredo twits Duterte: Human life is human rights
Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday disputed the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte during Monday’s State of the Nation Address (Sona), setting apart human life from human rights in an apparent attempt to downplay criticisms against his administration.
In her keynote speech during the awarding ceremonies of the 2018 Liberal International’s Prize for Freedom for jailed Sen. Leila de Lima, Robredo said it was a “false and misleading” premise to separate human rights from human life.
“It is apparent to anyone who wishes to see clearly, that the right to life is one of the most basic human rights. We fight for human rights precisely because we value human lives,” she said.
The Vice President made the statement in reaction to the President’s July 23 Sona, where he slammed critics of his campaign against illegal drugs that had claimed more than 4,000 lives since 2016.
Cannot be separated
“If you (critics) think that I can be dissuaded from continuing this fight because of [your] demonstrations, your protests, which I find, by the way, misdirected, then you got it all wrong. Your concern is human rights; mine is human lives,” the President said.
But the right to life cannot be separated from other rights, and one person’s rights cannot be held to be more valuable than that of others, according to Robredo.
“The right to life, along with all other rights—to food, to shelter, to education, to health care—are indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. They come as a whole package, and cannot be granted in part and denied in others,” she said.
The Vice President urged a crowd composed mainly of allies in the Liberal Party, and an international gathering of human rights advocates to “speak with one voice” in making people understand and fight the “blatant untruth” spewed by those supportive of the government’s bloody war on drugs.
Robredo paid tribute to De Lima, who has been in detention for alleged involvement in illegal drugs— charges which she and many allies maintain to be fabricated and politically motivated.
The Liberal International, a London-based international federation of progressive political organizations, chose De Lima as this year’s recipient of the award for her “sacrifice” as “among the first to be targeted by government” for her criticism of the killings done in the name of the government’s war on drugs.
The senator is the second Filipino to receive the human rights prize after former President Corazon Aquino in 1987.
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