De Lima condemns Duterte admin for rights abuses amid COVID-19 | Inquirer News

De Lima condemns Duterte admin for rights abuses amid COVID-19

/ 01:03 PM May 01, 2020

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Leila De Lima has lambasted the Duterte administration anew and blamed Malacañang for apparently espousing violence against violators of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Kinakapos sa essential supplies at equipment para sugpuin ang pagkalat ng (coronavirus disease) COVID-19, pero sa pag-abuso ng karapatang pantao unli ang gobyerno!” De Lima said in a dispatch from Camp Crame on Friday.


(You are short on essential supplies and equipment to fight the spread of COVID-19 but in abusing human rights the government has unlimited power!)

“Huwag n’yong gawing punching bag ng frustration n’yo ang taumbayan dahil pumapalpak kayo. Baka nakakalimutan ninyong dinadanas natin ang kalbaryong ito dahil mismo sa inyo. Kayo ang nagpapasok ng Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus sa atin. Kayo ang hindi kaagad kumilos. Minaliit n’yo ito sa umpisa at tinawanan. Tapos ngayong lulugo-lugo na tayo sa bigat na dala ng COVID-19 ang hahatawin ninyo ay karapatang pantao,” the senator stressed.


(Do not let out your frustration on the citizens just because you are failing. Maybe you are forgetting that the suffering we are experiencing now is because of you. You are the ones who allowed the CCP virus to enter the country. You are the ones who did nothing. You downplayed the situating from the start and laughed at it. And now that you are struggling from the burden of COVID-19, you are targeting human rights.)

De Lima’s statement came in the wake of reports of uniformed personnel abusing ECQ violators. A fish vendor in Quezon City was recently caught in a video being beaten with a piece of wood and restrained by several policemen for not wearing a face mask. The local government has since ordered a full-blown investigation into the incident, saying Quezon City does not condone acts of violence in a statement released on Tuesday.

“Your attitude there in Malacañang becomes the behavioral response of the ECQ enforcers in the communities. You blame the public, asperse them as “pasaway (stubborn),” and have the nerve lambasting the people ‘mahiya naman kayo (you should be ashamed),'” De Lima stressed.

“You paint an image of unruly, disobedient, and lawless citizens to justify your lust for martial law—the reason some of our ECQ enforcers get the wrong message and see the situation more as a peace-and-order crisis than as a serious health concern,” she added.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque in mid-April said Filipinos should be ashamed of themselves after the Philippines topped other Southeast Asian countries in having the highest number of COVID-19 cases.

“Kayo ang mahiya (You are the ones who should be ashamed)! You don’t and have never set a good example. Ipinahamak n’yo na nga sa CCP virus ang taumbayan, na ngayon ay lalo pang naghihirap, nilalapastangan pa
ninyo ang kanilang karapatang pantao (With the CCP virus, you endangered the lives of the people, who are now suffering more, and now you are even abusing their human rights),” De Lima said.

“You incite hate and intolerance. You blame the people for your incompetence and portray them as the cause
of the spread of the deadly virus. The quick use of brute force and unnecessary measures by some ECQ enforcers is observably fueled by the same hate and intolerance you have there in Malacañang,” the senator added.


ECQ violations result of slow processing of aid

De Lima said the reason people are going out of their homes to continue working despite having to violate ECQ rules is that the government is incompetent in providing the aid people need during the pandemic.

“Kaya nakakahuli ng fish vendor, fruit vendor, at iba pang paglabag sa ECQ na may kaugnayan sa paghahanapbuhay dahil wala pang ayudang dumarating sa kanila. At gusto nilang mabuhay nang marangal sa kabila ng sitwasyon. Ang gobyerno itong makupad at walang sistema, tapos ang hahagupitin ninyo ng parusa ay ang mga tao,” she said.

(Police arrest fish and fruit vendors, and other ECQ violations regarding livelihood because these people have yet to claim the aid from the government. And they want to make a living in an honorable way despite the situation. The government is the one who is slow and has no system, but you choose to punish the citizens.)

“Bago kayo magpakita ng bagsik, tiyakin ninyo na ang gobyerno mismo ay nakakatupad din sa obligasyon nito sa taumbayan at walang pagkukulang. Ngayon kung nagkukulang, tubuan naman ng hiya na magpakumbaba, unawain naman ninyo ang kalagayan ng mga tao, at mahinahong ipatupad ang ECQ,” she added.

(Before you show force, first be sure that the government is fulfilling its obligations to the people and has no lapses. And if they do, then show some humility and try to understand the situation of the people and peacefully enforce the ECQ.)

She then appealed to policemen to be compassionate, to respect human rights, and to allow people to reason with them and not immediately treat them as criminals.

“You are trained in combat and can easily spot suspicious behavior from simple ECQ violation. I salute all of you who are doing these already. I know from experience that there are more honest and judicious policemen than corrupt and abusive,” De Lima noted.

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TAGS: ecq violators, Human rights, human rights abuses, Leila de Lima, Malacañang, Policemen, Violence
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