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Sen. Bato “wants” human rights groups to lead the nation

Gabbi Garcia and Khalil Ramos for Scout x Globe

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights had Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa defensive with their report. According to their data, the number of people killed in the Philippines’ war on drugs might be more than the official Philippine National Police. He called the report’s basis as “ridiculous and preposterous.” 

Since our government officials love issuing challenges (s/o to Roque), Dela Rosa has one of his own: dissolve PNP and let human rights groups govern, if we don’t trust the government. Come to think of it, that’s actually not a bad idea. 

Dela Rosa shared his sentiments in ABS-CBN News Channel’s “Headstart.” UNHCR’s report says 27,000 people were killed as a result of the war on drugs, which contradicts PNP’s claim that 5,000 people have died. That’s why the senator was asked by “Headstart” why people should trust PNP’s data regarding the drug war. 

This was when the former PNP chief got defensive, accidentally making a good point on human rights groups from his sarcastic remark.

“If you do not trust the PNP numbers, we dissolve the PNP, if you don’t trust the government, tanggalin natin gobyerno. Let the human rights [groups], sila ang mag-rule sa ating bansa pag ganun, kung wala na tayong tiwala sa government instrumentality,” said Dela Rosa. “Sige, dissolve natin lahat pati gobyerno pag ’di tayo maniwala.”

Dela Rosa even went as far as challenging United Nation’s human rights experts to investigate our human rights’ situation right now. 

However, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet mentioned her team was “not granted access to the country” to see the situation themselves. “I welcome that move kung nandyan sila para malaman nila talaga ang katotohanan. Pero it’s not for me to decide, it’s an executive decision kung i-allow silang pumasok dito,” explained Dela Rosa.

In the UN Human Rights Council’s 44th regular session in Geneva, Switzerland on June 30, Bachelet called out the Duterte administration’s war on drugs for being “widespread and systematic.” She also added that the anti-war laws are being enforced “without due regard for the rule of law.”

Following Dela Rosa’s attempt at sarcasm, countries who give a damn about human rights actually do well for themselves. The US News’ 2019 data proved countries prioritizing human rights often make for better governance (wow, who knew?). Countries like the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden are part of the top five nations that care about human rights.

Norway for instance places empathy in their country by passing laws like The Gender Equality Act and the Gender Neutral Marriage Act. Plus, they made their prison system more humane by making rehabilitation a priority. They currently have one of the lowest crime rates in the world according to Overseas Security Advisory Council’s report in Mar. 2020. 

Although Sen. Bato’s suggestion came from a place of spite, we wouldn’t mind seeing human rights groups calling the shots in this nation. Human rights as a priority sounds like the 2020 plot twist the Philippines is looking for.

Read more:
Sen. Bato’s all for same-sex marriage, but not gender-neutral restrooms
The Anti-Terrorism Law as told by our lawmakers, activists and artists
Dear incoming Senator Bato, these people can teach you how to do the job

Photo from Inquirer.net

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