Office of the Vice President
28 July 2017
Vice President Leni Robredo said she opposes the abolition of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), warning that such move will strip the ordinary Filipino, especially the poor, of their protection against abuses.
VP Leni pointed out that the CHR is a constitutional body, and was established as such to prevent human rights violations that were committed against the people in the past, notably by those in power.
“Hindi ako sang-ayon sa pag-abolish ng CHR,” she told reporters at the inauguration of a four-storey building in Sabang National High School in Calabanga, Camarines Sur.
“Nakapalaman ito sa ating Konstitusyon dahil sa mahabang karanasan natin ng human rights abuses, na ang nagko-commit sarili nating mga government officials, ang nagko-commit mga kawani ng gobyerno,” she said.
“Kaya nagkaroon ng CHR para may sandata iyong mahihirap na mayroong kakampi sa kanila, mayroong mangangalaga ng kanilang mga karapatan kapag sila ay naaabuso, kapag ang kanilang karapatang pantao ay naaabuso, ng mga kawani ng gobyerno,” she added. “Kung i-a-abolish iyong CHR, parang lalo nating hindi binibigyan ng proteksyon iyong mga dati nang naghihirap sa ating lipunan.”
The Vice President, who previously worked as a public interest lawyer, issued the comment after President Rodrigo Duterte said that the CHR is “better abolished.”
President Duterte made the threat in a press conference after his second State of the Nation Address (SONA), as he continued to defend members of the military and the police amid allegations of human rights violations.
Created under the 1987 Constitution, the CHR is tasked to investigate all forms of human rights abuses involving civil and political rights.
For her part, VP Leni has expressed her support for some of the calls and policies presented by the President at his SONA, but underscored anew the importance of human rights and due process, as he reiterated his administration’s commitment to the war against illegal drugs.