Akbayan party-list Rep.Tom Villarin on Monday criticized President Rodrigo Duterte's threat to abolish the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
Villarin claimed that abolishing the CHR would be close to turning the country into a "rogue state".
“This sends a wrong message and this will now equate us with North Korea as a rogue state,” he said.
Villarin said disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts that have outraged humanity.
Duterte's proposal would mean losing the country's democracy, he said, adding that the CHR is the creation of the 1987 Constitution and is an independent office.
Malacañang, however, on Monday maintained the independence of the CHR.
"The CHR and Office of the Ombudsman are both created under the Constitution and they are supposed to be independent. They have to do their own mandates,” Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a news conference.
In a press conference after his second State of the Nation Address, Duterte had said he would not allow his men to be investigated by the CHR and even suggested that the Constitutional body be abolished.
Following Duterte’s statements, the CHR asserted its mandate and maintained its independence.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales also pushed back, telling the President, “Anong pakialam niya?”