De Lima to Duterte: Ignore Bono at your own peril

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has warned against Mr. Duterte’s continued disregard for human rights after popular Irish rock band U2’s lead singer Bono reminded him that there can be no compromise on human rights under his leadership.

De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, maintained that justice will one day catch up with Mr. Duterte as he unfailingly promotes the culture of violence and impunity in the country.

“Duterte can only ignore Bono at his own peril. You cannot dilute, pollute, or refute the universality and primacy of human rights,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 672.

“It is every one’s right – as it is every one’s duty – to stand up for every one’s dignity,” the lady Senator from Bicol added.

Asked during a press conference about his thoughts on the human rights situation in the Philippines, Bono simply left what he called a “soft message” for the President.

“I would just say, you can’t compromise on human rights. That’s my soft message to President Duterte,” said Bono who is a member of Amnesty International (AI), a human rights advocate and a critic of Duterte’s drug war, ahead of his concert in Manila last Dec. 11.

Since Duterte assumed presidency in July 2016, an estimated 27,000 individuals have already been killed either through vigilante-style executions or “legitimized” police operations.

Last October, De Lima supported the call by AI to end the government’s bloody drug war and account for the thousands of extrajudicial killings of suspected drug offenders in the country often perpetrated by state authorities under Duterte’s orders.

This 18th Congress, De Lima reintroduced her Anti-EJK Bill, now logged as Senate Bill (SB) No. 371, seeking to define and provide for acts that constitute EJKs and strengthen the intervention and investigative functions of government agencies, including the Commission on Human Rights. (30)

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