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    After Duterte’s SONA, VP Leni underscores importance of human rights, rule of law

    Office of the Vice President

    25 July 2017

    Vice President Leni Robredo expressed her support for some of the calls that President Rodrigo Duterte made in his State of the Nation Address (SONA), but underscored anew the importance of human rights and the rule of law.

    VP Leni issued the comment on Tuesday morning, after the second SONA of President Duterte, who reiterated his commitment to his administration’s war against illegal drugs.

    “Naniniwala tayo, tulad ng paniniwala ng ating Pangulo, na kailangan talagang sugpuin iyong krimen.. hindi lang nagkakatugma [iyong aming approach],” she said at the sidelines of the Istorya ng Pag-asa photo gallery caravan launch in Novaliches, Quezon City. “Ako po naniniwala ako na sa pagpapatupad ng anti-drug campaign, sa pag-aayos ng peace and order, hindi pa rin dapat labagin iyong karapatang pantao.”

    VP Leni underscored the need for the rule of law, saying it serves as the poor’s shield against possible abuses of power.

    “Kailangan iyong rule of law. Kung ano iyong nasa batas, ano iyong nasa Konstitusyon, nasusunod pa din, dahil ito naman iyong sandata ng mahihirap natin na mga kababayan laban sa pang-aabuso ng mga nasa kapangyarihan,” she said.

    VP Leni has previously offered assistance on the rehabilitation side of the anti-drug effort, underscoring the importance of a community-based approach to rehabilitation and prevention.

    Last year, her office tapped several local government units and groups from various sectors to help devise a community rehabilitation program. She also urged national government agencies involved in the rehabilitation side of the anti-drug campaign to jumpstart their efforts using resources from both the public and private sectors, pending the institutionalization of an inter-agency program anchored on the same approach.

    Support for other policies

    Meanwhile, the Vice President said she supports some of the measures and policies mentioned by President Duterte in his SONA, in particular his call for Congress to pass the National Land Use Bill, a proposal she supported as a member of the 16th Congress, and authored now by Congressman Kit Belmonte of the Liberal Party.

    She also lauded the continuation of the No Balance Billing policy of PhilHealth adopted during the previous administration, and seconded the President in pushing for the full implementation of the Reproductive Health Law and the protection of the environment.

    VP Leni also backed the call for responsible mining, but asked that the Alternative Mining Management Act be certified as urgent, saying it proposes crucial reforms to the current mining law that would make efforts to protect the environment “more effective.”

    On the other hand, she reiterated her stand against the reimposition of death penalty, which the President is now asking the Senate to pass.

    Posted in Press Releases on Jul 25, 2017