CHR unfazed by Duterte ‘warning’ amid war on drugs
MANILA, Philippines – Despite President Rodrigo Duterte’s warning for it “not to interfere” amid the “most dangerous” war on drugs, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) vowed on Wednesday to continue investigating alleged rights violations in the antinarcotics campaign.
Duterte warned the CHR as he vowed to “wipe out” all illegal drug syndicates by the end of his term.
“The Human Rights please don’t try to interfere. Don’t ever, ever commit the mistake. My time now is the most dangerous for the drug addicts and pushers. I will never let this pass,” the President said in a speech in Cebu City on Feb. 24.
“CHR has always been steadfast in upholding its mandate to investigate cases of human rights breaches, without fear or favor, and we will continue to do so,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.
“We support the government on its policies that uphold human rights but we shall step in when the rights of the people are violated,” she added.
De Guia said the CHR owed it to the people to act and speak up when basic human rights, especially the right to life, are not respected.
“As conscience of the government, we owe it to the people and the vulnerable sectors to act and speak up when basic rights are not respected, especially concerning the primordial right to life,” she said.
The CHR spokesperson reminded the police that the fight against the illegal drug trade should be within the bounds of the law and not at the expense of people’s lives.
She said she also hoped that the words of Duterte would not be mistaken as a “license to circumvent due process” but will serve as a directive to “firmly” solve the drug problem in accordance with the law.
“The Commission reiterates its support for the eradication of the drug trade but we stress again that it should not be at the expense of people’s lives and must be carried out within the ambit of law,” De Guia said. /cbb
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