‘CHR more emboldened with Duterte’s promised rule of law’
Chairperson Jose Luis “Chito” Gascon on Monday said the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is even more “emboldened” to do its mandate with the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte to hold accountable police officials who violate the rights even of suspected criminals.
In an interview after Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) at the House of Representatives, Gascon lauded Duterte for calling on the National Police Commission (Napolcom) to investigate errant police officials.
“We are emboldened by his statement today. He said police authorities must always act within the law, and if there are abuses found, then the Napolcom has been called upon to ensure administrative cases would be undertaken,” Gascon said.
“So we are going to cooperate with the justice sector, the Department of Justice, the police, the Department of Interior and Local Government in ensuring human rights and the rule of law will always be upheld,” he added.
As to the statement of Duterte that human rights should not be treated as a shield for drug pushers to continue their crime, Gascon said human rights are not a “shield to damage the country” but a “shield to protect against abuse of authority.”
“We welcomed over-all the statements made for and about human rights made by the president himself. We look at it as an affirmation of human rights and a directive against any abuse of authority by law enforcement,” Gascon said.
Gascon vowed to fulfill his mandate of monitoring reports of human-rights violations amid a spate of summary killings of suspected criminals at the height of Duterte’s war on drugs.
“We’ll do our responsibility and monitor all actions and ensure these are compliant with human rights standards and if there are violations, we call them out,” Gascon said. TVJ
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