According to Sen. Tito Sotto, if Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Jose Luis Martin Gascon does not agree with President Duterte’s policies, then he better get out of the administration.
His advice should be directed at Cabinet secretaries and other officials under the executive branch who are duty-bound to implement policies/programs/projects of the President, whether they wholeheartedly agree or not.
But Senator Sotto’s message does not apply to officials of constitutional bodies like the CHR. These bodies were created by the Constitution precisely to ensure their independence. The basic law of the land also provides that they should have fiscal autonomy. The CHR has no obligation to blindly support or praise the policies of the executive branch, especially if such policy will result in human rights violations by the government. The main goal of the CHR is to monitor if state actors are doing their obligation to respect, protect and/or fulfill the human rights of the people.
Senator Sotto should not expect the CHR to be like him or like Sen. Richard Gordon who will frantically defend, praise or flatter the Duterte administration.
RAFFY REY HIPOLITO, ra[email protected]
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