UN Rapporteur backs Duterte, answers Noynoy's question: Yes, human rights may be sacrificed to protect human lives - The Daily Sentry

UN Rapporteur backs Duterte, answers Noynoy's question: Yes, human rights may be sacrificed to protect human lives

Former president Noynoy Aquino and incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte, photo from ABS-CBN
Following Pres. Rodrigo Duterte's remark on his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) is former President Noynoy Aquino's question on the statement of the incumbent leader that seem to put such in scrutiny.

On the said SONA, it can be recalled that the tough-talking president said that while his opponents' priority is human lives, his administration's focus is 'human lives'.

"If you (critics) think that I can be dissuaded from continuing this fight because of [your] demonstrations, your protests, which I find, by the way, misdirected, then you got it all wrong. Your concern is human rights; mine is human lives," Pres. Duterte said.

"The lives of our youth are being wasted and families are destroyed, and all because of the chemicals called shabu, cocaine, cannabis, and heroine," he added.

As expected, this sparked different reactions from both the pro and anti-Duterte camps with majority being impressed on the president's speech.

On the other hand, almost all — if not all — of those who are against him, most especially the Liberal Party officials, argued that human rights and human lives are correlated, thus go hand in hand and cannot be separated.

In a report, Vice President Leni Robredo disputed such statement from the president calling it "false and misleading" for separating the two. The Liberal Party official made the remark in her keynote speech during the awarding ceremonies of the 2018 Liberal International’s Prize for Freedom for the jailed Sen. Leila de Lima.

The Vice President also claimed that the reason we fight for human rights is exactly due to the value we give for human lives.

"It is apparent to anyone who wishes to see clearly, that the right to life is one of the most basic human rights. We fight for human rights precisely because we value human lives", she said.
Photo from RMN PH
The lawyer-turned-vice-president added that , "The right to life, along with all other rights—to food, to shelter, to education, to health care—are indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. They come as a whole package, and cannot be granted in part and denied in others".

Meanwhile, another official from the Liberal Party criticized the Mindanaoan president about his SONA's human rights remark.

Unrelenting critic of Pres. Duterte, Sen. Risa Hontiveros said in an interview that, "It really is chilling in the hearts of Filipinos because you now have 20,000 family members orphaned in this war on drugs, where many cases even lack independent investigations,"

In addition, the latter mentioned that for making that statement, the president got it all wrong.

"[The president's remark is a] contradiction in terms that it is not contradictory but in fact, complimentary because a very important part of human lives are human rights. When human rights are violated and the dignity of the human person is demeaned, quality of life is also devalued. So he is wrong to say he cares for human lives and not human rights because it is part of human life," she added.

Furthermore, another former Liberal Party official commented anent the firebrand president's said remark.

In an interview, ex-president Noynoy Aquino was asked regarding his opinion on the president's statement.

To that, his answer was also a question.

"Puwede bang paghiwalayin iyun? Puwede bang wala kang karapatan na universal nga maski saang parte ng mundo, pare-pareho iyung basic rights," he told reporters.

"Naalala ko iyung sinabi ng tatay ko noong araw, 'pag pinayagan mong yurakan ang karapatan ng isa, hinahanda mo iyung pagkakataon na iyung karapatan mo rin ang mayurakan," he added.

Though it is not something new, the country's rapporteur to the United Nations (UN), Teddy Locsin Jr., surprised the Filipino public when he answered the beleaguered former president's question on his Twitter account.

In one of his tweets, he stated that human rights and human lives are two entities that can indeed be separated.
UN Rapporteur Teddy Locsin Jr., photo from CNN Philippines
"THE ANSWER is YES", his tweet reads.

The UN officer added that at one of his forums at the United Nations, he argued that human rights can actually be "sacrificed" for the reason of protecting human lives.

Later, the appointed rapporteur to the UN gave an example.

He said, "like offing sex traffickers while rescuing theirs victims when UN recognizes that human rights violations may be committed by non-state actors like crime syndicates and terrorists".

Locsin was appointed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and is known to be one of the staunchest supporters of the president.

He usually expresses his opinion on social media, particularly on Twitter, to convey his support for Pres. Duterte and his administration.

Sources: Showbiz Government's Facebook Inquirer ABS-CBN Philstar