IF they have any decency left in their hearts, and if they truly care about human rights in this country, Commission on Human Rights chairman Jose (“Chito”) Gascon should resign immediately, together with the body’s three commissioners who like him are of the Yellow Cult.
All appointed by then President Aquino 3rd in July 2015, these are:
• Roberto Cadiz, one of the private prosecutors against Chief Justice Renato Corona in his impeachment trial in 2012;
• Leah Tanodra-Armamento, one of the three undersecretaries of then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, now accused of being involved with top drug lords of the country; and
• Gwendolyn Pimentel-Gana, the sister of Sen. Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, a staunch ally of former President Aquino before he switched loyalty to President Duterte when he saw the groundswell of support for the Davao City mayor just before the May elections.
If Pimentel really supports Duterte, he should ask his sister Gwendolyn to resign, so the President can appoint somebody independent of the Yellow Cult and bold enough to stop Gascon from making the CHR into an anti-Duterte propaganda machine. I cannot understand why Duterte allowed Pimentel to beome Senate President, when his sister was with the gang painting him as a bloody killer to the world.
These four should find some courage in their hearts to be willing to give up their P2.5 to P3 million salaries—even if these represent the highest pay they have received all of their working lives—for the sake of human rights victims. They seem to be bright – they’ll manage to get the same kind of paychecks after a few years of hard work, I hope.
The CHR has been totally discredited as a Yellow propaganda machine that it won’t be able to undertake its functions since it relies immensely on the assistance of other government agencies such as the Philippine National Police, the justice department, and the judiciary.
How could these agencies support the CHR’s investigations, when it has been indisputably clear that Gascon isn’t really interested in defending human rights but only in throwing dirt at Duterte.
Gascon has turned the CHR into a propaganda machine against President Duterte in order to advance the Liberal Party and the Yellows’ agenda to blacken his image as a bloodthirsty strongman, in the hope that the US will somehow intervene to bring him down.
I have detailed in last Friday’s column Gascon’s blatant lies, documented in a video posted in the website of the so-called Oslo Freedom Forum event in New York last May. Among his lies: ”Tens of thousands of Filipinos have been murdered by Duterte’s government”; that Duterte forced Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to step down; and that he removed Lourdes Sereno as chief justice.
These are canards that anyone can easily check: The Philippine National Police report – which no other group is able to contest – says 4,000 drug-related suspects had been killed by the police in the course of anti-drug operations; what has forced Morales to step down is the Constitution which specifies a seven-year term for the Ombudsman, which in her case ends this July; and that it was her peers in the Supreme Court who ruled to remove Sereno because she hadn’t, upon intensive investigation, complied with the requirements for appointment to the post.
It has not been just in that New York event that Gascon has been spreading his lies against Duterte. To disseminate his lies more for that event, Gascon even had his article published in Time magazine’s May 30 issue in which he repeats the same lies: “Duterte’s war vs drugs has resulted in tens of thousands of casualties from deadly police operations or extra-judicial killings, with no end in sight. To date, no person has been held to account for any abuse of authority or human rights violations in these deaths. Impunity—a reality in my country even before Duterte—has reached unprecedented levels.”
He has never bothered to explain the source of his “tens of thousands” killed, which is a fabrication started by the leftist cadre heading the Manila office of Human Rights Watch. It is a lie that “no person has been held to account”: The PNP has referred to the Justice Department for prosecution about a hundred policemen who allegedly killing unarmed drug suspects, including the case of three Caloocan policemen executing 17-year-old Kian de los Santos.
What is so shameful about Gascon is that in his speeches and articles, he never discloses that he has been since the 1980s a Yellow cultist, who held the high post of director general of the Liberal Party. Thus, he conceals – successfully – the reality that for all his purportedly bleeding-heart concern for human rights, his main agenda has been to be the Yellows’ demolition crew against Duterte.
Gascon’s CHR hasn’t bothered to inform the public what human rights violations, or even extrajudicial killings it has been investigating. If it has been really aghast at what Gascon claims were the “tens of thousands of Filipinos murdered by Duterte’s government,” has it been collating data on even the names of these victims, and preparing charges even in just the case of 10 victims?
We don’t get any information on these in the CHR’s website. Instead, the website is full of Gascon’s “statements” that he claims is the position of the entire CHR on such things as applauding the justice department’s decision to allow the political-activist nun Patricia Fox her missionary status; his concern over the death of an OFW in Slovakia; and his harangue against Supreme Court Justice Teresita de Castro’s exhortation to new lawyers to respect the decisions of the high tribunal.
When the Supreme Court ruled to remove Sereno, the commission (I suspect it was just Gascon) posted a statement in its website that the “decision has diminished our democracy. It erodes our obedience to the rule of law and departs from the will of the Filipino people.”
What the hell is this second-rate Yellow lawyer doing criticizing the decision of the country’s highest court?