Rights defenders endorse Leni, pro-human rights Senate aspirants
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo received another boost of support, this time from human rights defenders who endorsed her presidential bid and that of the Senate run of those who are considered allies in fighting for rights advocacies.
During a program on Monday at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, the Human Rights Vote 2022 (#HRvote2022) — a collection of activists, human rights defenders, and organizations — named Robredo as their choice for the upcoming presidential race.
Eight senatorial aspirants were also named by #HRvote2022, including personalities included in Robredo and other progressive organizations’ Senate slate:
- Senator Risa Hontiveros
- Senator Leila de Lima
- former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat
- activist and Bayan Muna chair Neri Colmenares
- human rights lawyer and Dean Chel Diokno
- labor leader and lawyer Sonny Matula
- labor leader Luke Espiritu,
- Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc
#HRvote2022 said that they went through a rigorous process in determining who would be included in their endorsements.
“Ito ay isang hindi madaling proseso dahil naka-salalay ang kredibilidad ng mga bawat organisasyon na pumapapaloob at sumusuporta sa #HRvote2022. Dumaan ito sa masugid at komprehensibong pagpa-plano, talakayan, at desisyon — at tiwala kami sa pasya na susuportahan ang mga kandidatong sigurado tayong magbibigay ng pagpapahalaga sa pagrespeto sa dignidad at karapatan ng bawat Pilipino,” #HRvote2022 said in a statement.
(This is not an easy process because the credibility of each organization within and supporting #HRvote2022 is at stake. This went through a rigorous and comprehensive process in planning, discussing, and deciding — and we trust in our decision to support the candidates who would surely provide respect and dignity to the rights of each Filipino.)
“Kaya naman, naninindigan ang Human Rights Vote 2022 sa kandidatura ni Bise Presidente Leni Robredo, bilang pangulo sa 2022. Wala pa man sa pulitika si Leni Robredo, batid ng lahat ng kasama ang kanyang naging trabaho sa Saligan […] bilang abugada ng mga batayang sektor, kasama ang magsasaka, mangingisda, kababaihan, manggagawa at urban poor,” it added.
(That is why, the Human Rights Vote 2022 supports the candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo, for president in 2022. Even when she was not yet a politician, everybody knew her work with Saligan as an alternative lawyer, helping sectors including farmers, fisherfolk, women, workers, and the urban poor.)
According to Brylle Chavez, #HRvote2022 member and human rights worker from Cagayan de Oro, the candidates were picked based on where they stand on certain issues, including the current administration’s war against illegal drugs, the protection of human rights, and the practice of red-tagging.
“The protection of the right to life, liberty, and the promotion of social justice in all aspects of national development are constitutional guarantees for all Philippine citizens. These are the government’s constitutional and moral obligations, they emanate from international human rights and humanitarian law, and form the pillars of Philippine democratic society,” Chavez said.
“As such, there is no place for a central policy of killing in the political and legal landscape. The state is duty-bound to promote a just and dynamic social order that would ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation, and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, an improved quality of life for all,” he added.
Robredo in a recorded message aired during the program said that she is happy about the endorsement, as it gives her strength and hope that she can provide a government that puts priority on human rights.
“Masaya akong makasama at makausap kayo nito lang nakaraang linggo. Muli, gusto kong magpasalamat sa suporta ninyo, hindi lang para sa akin pero para sa lahat ng adbokasiya at pangarap na isinusulong natin,” she said.
(I am happy to be with you after talking last weekend. Again, I would like to thank you, not just for supporting me but for backing all the advocacies and dreams that we are pushing for.)
“Kasama kayo, buo ang loob ko na kayang-kaya nating wakasan ang luma at bulok na klase ng pulitika na ugat ng paghihirap ng sambayanang Pilipino. Papalitan natin ito ng matino at mahusay na pamumuno, ng gobyernong may pagpapahalaga sa buhay,” she added.
(With you, I am confident that we can really end an old and rotten system of politics that cause the suffering of the Filipino people. We will replace this with a better and proper leadership, a government that places importance on human rights.)
The endorsement of a human rights groups may be a big help to the candidates, as most of the aspirants mentioned by the #HRvote2022 have lagged in the surveys — yielding top spots to more prominent politicians and personalities.
According to the most recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, among the eight senatorial bets named by #HRvote2022, the highest-ranked is Hontiveros, who sits at the eight spot.
A far next is De Lima (19th), Diokno (20th), Colmenares (22nd), Gutoc (28th) and Baguilat (29th).
As for Robredo, her numbers have seen an improvement after a survey released last November showed that her numbers were improving, now on second place behind former senator Bongbong Marcos.