‘When has it become all right to stop protecting human rights?’ – Robredo

“At what point has it become all right for our people to stop defending human rights and, instead, start condemning it and its defenders?”

This was the question posed by Vice President Leni Robredo before graduates of the Far Eastern University (FEU) Institute of Law during their commencement exercises on Tuesday.

In her speech, Robredo lamented that human rights were being considered as an “unnecessary bureaucracy and inconvenience” to ensure safety and security of all.

But the Vice President asked: “Do we feel safer now?”

“Just yesterday, assistant prosecutor Madonna Joy Tanyag from the Office of the Ombudsman was stabbed at a sidewalk at 10:30 in the morning and died. She was five months pregnant,” Robredo noted.

The Filipino people, Robredo said, were “now at loss, not knowing where to go for protection.”

Aside from the Constitution being “casually dismissed,” she said that “our security and sovereignty as a nation are threatened by nuclear strike-capable bombers in the Paracel Islands and the incursion of China on our territory.”

With this in mind, Robredo stressed that “we as a nation have a deep respect for equality and individuality.“

“We once stood proud of our beautifully written Constitution, with a Preamble that highlights how we revere our ‘independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace’,” Robredo said.

“The Philippines has a long history of commitment to the principles of human rights and the rule of law,” she said. “Countless Filipinos have paid for freedom with their blood.” /atm

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