Robredo calls for protection of those ‘on the fringes of society’
In time for Human Rights Day today, Vice President Leni Robredo called on the people to strengthen their resolve in opposing extrajudicial killings and other rights abuses, especially involving the poor.
She said respect for human rights was enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
“Part of our history as a nation is the vigorous protection of human rights,” said Robredo, who had given free legal services to the poor prior to her plunge into politics after the death of her husband, Jesse, in 2012.
Human rights struggle
“This is mirrored in our Constitution, which mandates the respect, defense and realization of such rights,” she said.
“This year’s Human Rights Day is not only a commemoration of our contribution to this struggle,” said the Vice President.
“We also need to stress the meaning of this celebration, because of [the] worrying news of widespread violation of human rights,” Robredo said. “Those living on the fringes of society,” or the poor, were particularly vulnerable, she added.
The world celebrates Human Rights Day every Dec. 10 to commemorate the adoption by the UN General Assembly on that day in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Robredo has frequently spoken out against the killings of drug and other crime suspects in the Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs.
“The times call on each one of us to strengthen our conviction to fight for human rights, in the face of the challenges the Filipino faced in the past year,” Robredo said.
These challenges, she said, “include extrajudicial killings, the stifling of free speech, also on social media, and crippling poverty which continues to affect millions of our people.”
“May this celebration of Human Rights Day provide an opportunity to rekindle our determination to be a society that observes and brings life to the dignity, freedom and rights of each Filipino,” Robredo said.
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