Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday agreed with President Rodrigo Duterte's pronouncement that human rights should not be used as a shield by lawbreakers to continue their illegal acts.
Robredo, however, reminded public officials to respect human rights, which she branded as the core of the country's soul.
"Ako naniniwala akong hindi siya dapat ginagawang panangga [ang human rights] pero naniniwala rin ako na ang ating Konstitusyon ay kilala sa buong mundo bilang parang bastion talaga ng human rights," she said.
"Dapat hindi natin ito nakakalimutan sa lahat ng ginagawa natin pagdating sa governance, sa lahat ng drives na ginagawa natin ngayon. Ito iyung buod, ito yung core din ng pinaka-kaluluwa ng ating bansa."
The Vice President added that the 1987 Constitution was established in reaction to the various human rights abuses during the martial law period of President Ferdinand Marcos.
"Kung magbabalik-tanaw tayo doon sa paggawa ng 1987 Consitution, galing tayo sa isang rehimen na hindi binigyan ng malaking diin iyung human rights kaya malaking bahagi ng ating Konstitusyon, parang again and again nire-remind tayo na buod ito ng ating kaluluwa bilang isang bansa," she said.
Duterte on Monday addressed criticisms of human rights violations in the light of surge of killings under his administration.
He vowed to uphold human rights but said this should not be used "as a shield or excuse to destroy the country."
Duterte: Human rights not an excuse to destroy country