‘Rate and scale’ of rights abuses under Duterte ‘incomparable’, ‘higher’ than past admins – CHR
MANILA, Philippines — The “rate and scale” of human rights violations under the Duterte administration is “incomparable” and “higher” than previous terms, according to the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), even as it recognized that every administration had “its fair share” of human rights abuses.
According to CHR spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia, they are currently investigating 3,295 alleged extrajudicial killings, as well as killings of activists, journalists, lawyers, and judges, among others.
The CHR’s remark comes after a “drunk” police officer shot a woman dead in Quezon City. The police officer has since been arrested and will face murder and administrative charges.
“No particular administration has been spared of human rights violation, every administration committed its fair share of human rights violation,” De Guia said Thursday in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel, “but currently, the rate and the scale is incomparable, higher than other administrations.”
“Never has there been a time that we have been so overwhelmed with the number of cases we are handling right now,” she added.
The CHR likewise thinks President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements that seem to insulate law enforcers in alleged rights violations in the conduct of the controversial war on drugs “encourage” and “embolden” impunity.
Duterte, in several instances, assured law enforcers that they enjoy his protection as long as they will perform their jobs properly. He also repeatedly emphasized that police officers must first make sure of their safety in the event suspected criminals fight back.
READ: Duterte tells cops, soldiers: Don’t listen to critics, I’ll protect you
READ: Don’t be surprised if drug suspects die fighting ‘trained to kill’ enforcers – Duterte
“It does encourage, it does embolden, of course, it is a reason for impunity,” De Guia replied when asked if the President’s declaration of protection to state forces inspires impunity.
“We always say that the obedience to order must be a lawful order at the onset,” she added.
Thus, De Guia said the President should be “very circumspect” in his statements, noting that “words matter.”
“We would want the highest-ranking official to be very circumspect in his language, to encourage accountability, lest it spills over to other sectors especially now, to make sure that our justice system is working not only for a select few but for everyone,” she said.
INQUIRER.net has sought Malacañang’s side on these remarks of CHR, but has yet to receive a reply as of this posting.
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