Robredo renews call to uphold human rights, rule of law after SONA 2017
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo again emphasized the importance of upholding human rights and the rule of law, after President Rodrigo Duterte said in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) that the drug war would be unrelenting.
"Ako po naniniwala ako na sa pagpapatupad ng anti-drug campaign, sa pag-aayos ng peace and order, hindi pa rin dapat labagin iyong karapatang pantao," Robredo said on Tuesday, July 25, a day after Duterte delivered his SONA.
(I believe that in the implementation of the anti-drug campaign, in ensuring peace and order, human rights must still be upheld.)
The Vice President also stressed that the rule of law is enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.
"Ito naman iyong sandata ng mahihirap natin na mga kababayan laban sa pang-aabuso ng mga nasa kapangyarihan," she said.
(This is the weapon of our poor countrymen against abuses committed by the powerful.)
Duterte used up much of his two-hour speech talking about the war on drugs and lashing out at critics for arguing on the basis of human rights and the rule of law.
"Okay ako diyan (I'm fine with criticism). When you go into an anger, when you go... you burst with rage, okay iyan (that's okay). But with so many killings as brutal and as cruel as what happened, if you add human rights and due process, you stink and your mouth smells," said the President.
Since last year, Robredo has consistently urged the government to observe the rule of law as it cracks down on dealers and users of illegal drugs.
The Vice President has also repeatedly criticized the spate of extrajudicial killings linked to the drug war. She spoke about the issue in a video message played at an event organized by a non-governmental group in Vienna, Austria, drawing backlash from Duterte supporters and prompting them to issue impeachment threats. (READ: Robredo urged to 'stop shaming' Duterte)
The Vice President has said that the drug problem should be addressed using a health-based approach at the grassroots level. Robredo has since tapped local government units and civic organizations to create a community-based rehabilitation program.
While the country's top two officials do not see eye to eye on the drug problem and on human rights, Robredo lauded Duterte for pushing for the implementation of the reproductive health law and responsible mining. – Rappler.com