- Two (2) neophyte senators, Risa Hontiveros and Sherwin Gatchalian, speak on arising cases of human rights violation, and death penalty issues
- These issues became the talk of the town because of the pronouncements of the iron-fisted, crime-busting, and tough-talking President-elect Rodrigo Duterte
- They are to join the new Senate minority bloc in the incoming 17 Congress
Senators Risa Hontiveros and Sherwin Gatchalian gave their piece on alleged human rights violation issues arising weeks before incoming President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte seats as the president of the country.
Hontiveros expressed her strong opposition regarding the re-imposition of the death penalty, saying that she was a part of the Movement for Restorative Justice when the capital punishment was eradicated years ago.
“Ang death is a cruel and inhuman, degrading punishment. Sya po ay anti-poor and hindi talaga deterrent sa heinous crime. So for those same reasons na matagumpay naming napa-abolish ang death penalty noon, hindi ko susuportahan kundi tututulan ko ang reimposition ngayon,” she said.
(Death is a cruel and inhuman, degrading punishment. It is anti-poor and it is not actually a deterrent to heinous crime. So for those same reasons that we succeeded in abolishing the death penalty before, I would not support but oppose its re-imposition now.)
When asked about the reported violations of due process and other human rights, she said that various watchdog groups, who are known advocates of the rule of law and upholding human rights, and even the Commission on Human Rights (CHR are already look into such cases.
“And I look forward na kapag nagsimula na yung trabaho namin sa Senado sa 17th Congress, magiging bahagi ako sa pag sustain ng mga prinsipyong iyon, at karapatang iyon ng ating mamamayan,” she added.
(And I look forward to the start of our work at Senate in the 17th Congress. I would be a part of sustaining these principles and the human rights of our people.)
Answering the same question, Senator Gatchalian said the CHR and the internal affairs of the Philippine National Police (PNP) are responsible in investigating the reported killings of suspected drug dealers who resisted arrest.
“I think this is where the CHR and the internal affairs of the police should come in and investigate all of these. Hindi natin pwedeng sabihin lang na lumaban at tapos na. I think the investigation should go on and put a closure to what has happened,” Gatchalian said.
(I think this is where the CHR and the internal affairs of the police should come in and investigate all of these. We cannot just say that they resisted arrest and it is done. I think the investigation should go on and put a closure to what has happened.)
Gatchalian added that if there were violations of human rights indeed, such would still fall on the leadership of incumbent President Benigno Aquino III and not on Rodrigo Duterte for he is to assume the presidency on June 30. -HB, Kami Media