Duterte to invite UN rights body to set up office in PH

By Jose Cielito Reganit

September 19, 2017, 6:44 am

MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he will invite the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) to set up an office in Manila to observe police anti-drug war operations.

“I will personally, through an official channel, invite the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations to set up a satellite office here,” Duterte told reporters during a chance interview in Caloocan City following his visit to the wake of a fallen policeman.

The President made the remarks following the decision of the House of Representatives to give the Commission of Human Rights (CHR) a PHP1,000 budget for 2018.

Duterte said that if the proposed PHP1,000 budget for the constitutional body pushes through, he would ask Congress to realign the PHP600 million slashed from the CHR’s 2018 budget to buy body cameras for the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He said that he would then ask the UNCHR to appoint an investigator to join police operations.

“Sabihin ko na lang sa ano, ituloy na lang ninyo ‘yan at marami akong mga bagay na dapat ibigay sa PNP. Camera, payag ako. Lahat, pati si (PNP chief) Bato (dela Rosa), dito sa gitna ng ulo niya. Okay ‘yan sa akin. Lahat ng pulis tapos lahat ng operations ng pulis, they will embed an investigator,” the President said.

“Ako pa ang mag-provide ng opisina ng Human Rights Commission ng United Nations. Sila ang maglagay ng tao every station. Every operation, sabihin ko sa mga station commanders sa pulis, PNP, do not operate without the Human Rights Commission ng United Nations. And everybody must wear a camera,” Duterte said.

Duterte said he now prefers the UNCHR to watch over alleged rights abuses in the Philippines due to the possibility of a budget-less CHR.

Voting 119-32, the House of Representatives slashed the CHR’s budget for next year due to its alleged failure to protect the human rights of crime victims.

The majority said they are willing to give back the constitutional body’s full budget if CHR chair Chito Gascon resigns.

Meanwhile, the embattled CHR chief has repeatedly said that he would not relinquish his post. “Hindi naman ina-abolish ‘yung Human Rights Commission eh. Stand by lang ‘yan siya diyan habang si Gascon pa,” Duterte said. (PNA)