Rep. Rene L. Relampagos declared thatÂ Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterteâ€™s promise to rid the country of illegal drugs in three to six months should he be elected President is not doable and most of all, shows no respect for human rights.
â€œMayor Duterteâ€™s vision for a crime-free, drug-free and insurgency-free country is good because it is every Filipino’s dream.Â Kitang tanan gusto nga mahuman ni nga suliran. But will mandating the police to kill even suspected criminals and those involved in drugs solve the problem? I think not. This is a band-aid solution that will not address the root of the problem which is poverty,â€ Relampagos stressed.
Duterte said in one of his interviews that he will direct policemen and the military not to be deterred in killing â€œallâ€ criminals because it is his â€œpersonal orderâ€, adding that if the Ombudsman and Human Rights Commission question them, he will tell them to just point their fingers at him.
The lawmaker said he has nothing personal against Mayor Duterte but he thinks his promise may only be good for show.
â€œAt the end of the day, we should ask ourselves ‘is this the way I want our leaders to solve our problems?’ ‘Is this what I really want?’ ‘Is this the kind of society I want to be a part of?’ Shall we vote for impunity, brutality and the rule of force or shall we vote for respect, dignity and the rule of law?â€
Relampagos who is a former Chair of the House Committee on Human Rights during the 15th Congress said suspected criminals should be given due process because thatâ€™s how a democratic nation works. He authored several laws that will help accelerate and simplify investigation process and eventually improve the countryâ€™s crime-solving capacity such as the NBI Modernization bill which seeks to provide funds for the training of NBI personnel, acquisition of â€œstate-of-the-artâ€ systems, investigative and intelligence equipment, and establishment of forensic and scientific laboratories to make it more responsive to the demands of time. Equally important, the lawmaker is pushing for the charter of the Commission on Human Rights to â€œgive it more teeth.â€
It was also during Relampagosâ€™ chairmanship in the 15thÂ Congress that notable human rights laws were passed such as the â€œAnti-Enforced Disappearance Lawâ€ and the â€œCompensation to Victims of Human Rights Violationsâ€ law.
â€œWe have fought a hard battle not so long ago against an administration that abused many of our peoples’ rights. Going back to this darkest era in our history would put to shame all the lives lost and sacrifices made by our fathers in the name of human rights and democracy. We cannot, and should not, let this lawlessness happen again. Not in our time,â€ Relampagos concluded.
It maybe recalled that Bohol was awarded â€œBest Performing LGU-Province Category (PADAC) Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaignâ€ by the Department of Interior and Local Government, under the leadership of then-governor Relampagos.