Vice President Leni Robredo may be impeached for supporting the United Nations Human Rights Council’s planned probe into the Philippine government’s war on drugs, according to Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner Manuelito Luna.
In a statement, Luna said that Robredo’s expression of support to the UNHRC resolution against the Philippine government was considered a Constitutional violation for describing the Philippines as guilty of human rights violations
“For the nth time, she has made it appear that the government is guilty of human rights abuses, and that’s betrayal of public trust,” Luna said, adding “It’s about time that she should be held to account for her political sins against the Filipino people.”
According to Article XI, Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution, “The President, the Vice President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment.”
The PACC Commissioner said Robredo’s alleged portrayal of Duterte administration as guilty of human rights violations constituted betrayal of public trust.
Robredo has urged the government to welcome the UN’s inquiry into the human rights situation in the Philippines, if the government is not hiding something.
“It’s about time that she should be held to account for her political sins against the Filipino people,” Luna said.
The Vice President has also said it is “shameful” that other countries have called for an investigation into the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
On Friday, the Commission on Human Rights supported the passage of a resolution by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the rising killings in the Philippines, including under the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.
“We, the Commission on Human Rights reiterate our previous calls for the Government to allow thorough, transparent, and independent investigations of all alleged violations of human rights in the country and in particular to fully cooperate with the Commission on Human Rights, victims’ groups, and other local and international stakeholders by demonstrating to the world that our local mechanisms are genuinely working and are sufficient to address demands for justice and the rule of law to prevail,” its statement read.
The commission challenged the Duterte administration to welcome any probe.
“Rather than maintaining acrimony and hurling threats of possible consequences, to show that it has nothing to hide and is willing to adhere to the global standards expected of a member of the UN Human Rights Council—the Philippine government must open spaces for dialogue with other nations that have expressed their concerns about the human rights situation in the country to show resolve that we can most certainly improve,” it said.
“It must show both the international community and our own people that it is willing and able to hold perpetrators to account, to protect all human rights defenders, to stop the killings, and to end impunity,” it added.
As an independent institution mandated by the Constitution to monitor State Compliance with All Human Rights Norms and Standards, the CHR as a constructive partner is ready to assist as best it can in the pursuit of this endeavor, its statement further read.
Last July 4, Iceland filed a draft resolution urging the UNHRC to act on the rising number of killings in the Philippines, including those under the violent anti-illegal drug campaign.
The draft resolution called on the government to cooperate with UN offices and mechanisms by facilitating country visits and “refraining from all acts of intimidation or retaliation.”
Of the 47 nations under the UNHRC, 18 voted in favor of the draft resolution, while 14 voted in opposition.
READ: UN Rights Council to take up Iceland reso on PH drug war
At least 15 abstained.
The UNHRC approved the resolution seeking a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines as well as extrajudicial killings in connection with the government’s drug war. With Rio N. ArajaREAD: Rody slams Iceland, UN reso
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