MANILA- Vice President Leni Robredo opposed on Friday President Rodrigo Duterte's threat of abolishing the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), saying the agency was established to protect the rights of the poor.
“Hindi ako sang-ayon sa pag-abolish ng CHR,” she told reporters at Calabanga, Camarines Sur.
“Kaya nagkaroon ng CHR para may sandata iyung 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.
Duterte threatened to abolish the CHR during a press conference following his second State of the Nation Address last Monday.
Despite the President's threat, the CHR maintained that it has the constitutional mandate to investigate cases of human rights abuses by state agents such as policemen and soldiers.
“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,” Robredo said.
The CHR was created under the 1987 Constitution and is mandated to probe human rights abuses involving civil and political rights.
Malacañang on Thursday clarified Duterte's statements, saying the President was just expressing his "frustrations."