Human rights is the soul of our democracy – Robredo

  • Vice President Leni Robredo says human rights is the soul of our constitution
  • This was her reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement during the SONA
  • Duterte said human rights should not be used as a shield to protect those who want to ‘destroy’ the country

“Ako, oo naniniwala ako hindi siya (human rights) dapat ginagawang panangga. Pero dapat ding alalahanin natin na ang ating Konstitusyon ay kilala sa buong mundo bilang parang bastion talaga ng human rights.”

(Yes, I believe that human rights should not be used to be absolved from criminal liability. But we have to remember that our constitution is famous in the world for being the bastion of human rights.)

This was Vice President Leni Robredo’s reaction when asked if she believes President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that human rights should not be an excuse “to destroy the country.” The president issued the statement during his first State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 25.

Robredo emphasized that human rights is the “soul” of our constitution that was birthed out of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, which toppled the authoritarian rule of the late President Ferdinand Marcos.

“Dapat hindi natin ito nakakalimutan sa lahat ng ginagawa natin pagdating sa governance, sa lahat ng drives natin ngayon. Ito ‘yong buod. Ito ‘yong core din, na pinakakaluluwa ng ating bansa,” she said.

(We should not forget it in the things we do when it comes to governance and all our drives now. This is the summary. This is the core, the soul of our country.)

That’s why while I believe that we should not use it as an excuse to do bad things, I also believe that in everything we do, we do not forget the soul of our constitution,” she added in Filipino.

The vice president has been vocal about her stance on the rising number of extra-judicial killings, mostly constituted of drug suspects. She also opposes the proposal from the lower house to lower the age of criminal liability from 15 years old to 9 years old.

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