On Int'l Human Rights Day, politicians call for 'common humanity' and 'right to know' | Inquirer News

On Int’l Human Rights Day, politicians call for ‘common humanity’ and ‘right to know’

/ 03:27 PM December 10, 2021
MANILA, Philippines—Politicians including Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Francis Pangilinan and Leila de Lima, and Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero on Friday joined the public in commemorating International Human Rights Day.

In her message, Robredo said the commemoration is a reminder of “common humanity,” which means that “regardless of race, color, religion, gender, we are a single human family, bound by a shared commitment to building a better and fairer world for all.”

READ: Robredo: Int’l Human Rights Day a call to speak truth in face of oppression

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Meanwhile, De Lima, who is currently detained for what she calls trumped-up charges, said that this year’s theme, “Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights,” is “very timely especially in this corner of the world where inequalities—whether political, economic and cultural—have worsened.

“This is highlighted even more by the current regime’s culture of violence and impunity and bungled pandemic response, where the disparity and divide between the rich and the poor, the minority and the powerful, has been more glaring and cogent,” the lawmaker said.

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“Next year, we will be facing another crucial fork in our path: the elections. Let us continue to be wary about those who falsely believe that discarding human rights will improve public order. Let us choose a leadership that will put human rights in the front and center of its platform,” she added.

Her colleague in the political opposition, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, also issued a statement on International Human Rights Day, in which he said the public’s right to truth is also a human right as he celebrated the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Filipino journalist Maria Ressa and remembered the death of Jesus “Jess” Malabanan, a correspondent for Manila Standard, Bandera and Reuters.  Malabanan was shot dead in Western Samar on Wednesday.

READ: Pampanga-based journalist shot dead in Samar

“As the Norwegian Nobel Committee has said, ‘freedom of expression is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace,’” Pangilinan said.

“We need to safeguard and protect all journalists who are warriors for freedom of expression and for Philippine democracy and lasting peace,” he added.

In a separate statement, Escudero noted that the Philippines is a signatory to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.

“As such, the country is committed to champion the inalienable rights of every person ‘regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinions, national or social origin, property, birth or another status,’ said the governor seeking a Senate comeback in 2022.

“Let us take this occasion, therefore, to renew our vow as a nation to uphold the human rights of our fellow countrymen,” he added.  /ra

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TAGS: Francis Pangilinan, Leila de Lima, Leni Robredo
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