CHR: Duterte's warning vs rice smugglers unethical

By Rhodina Villanueva, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 08 2014 08:55 AM | Updated as of Jan 08 2014 06:50 PM

MANILA - The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it would send Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte a formal letter that will try to counter his sentiments concerning the presence of rice smugglers in the city.

Marc Titus Cebreros, chief of the CHR Information and Communication Division, said that though Mayor Duterte’s statement is not per se a human rights violation, it’s unethical.

“It’s unbecoming of a public official like him. It gives the impression that we are not living under a government of laws,” said Cebreros.

He added that the letter aims to communicate to the mayor that there is something alarming and wrong with his statement.

CHR Chairman Loretta Ann Rosales also said Duterte’s threat to kill rice smugglers is unethical.

She said that his role is to ensure good governance and not kill people.

Duterte had earlier declared war on rice smugglers and warned he is prepared to use lethal force.

He said, “I want smuggling of rice in my city stopped. But if you still do not stop your smuggling activities, I will kill you.”

He said he does not want to see “even a single sack of rice smuggled in the city.”