(Philippine Star)

Malacañang indirectly expressed its support on Sunday for the plan of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to investigate reports of human rights violations committed by Davao City Mayor and presidential hopeful Rodrigo Duterte.

 Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte

However, it did not mention the independence of the CHR as a constitutional body separate and distinct from the executive branch. The CHR is currently headed by Jose Luis Gascon, a former stalwart of the administration Liberal Party (LP).

Jose Luis Gascon, an LP director general prior to his appointment as CHR chairman, is identified with standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II who is trailing behind his other rivals in surveys for the May 2016 presidential elections, including the pace-setting Duterte.

In a media forum Saturday, Gascon said they are reviewing records to see if there are cases filed against Duterte, who has reportedly executed around 700 people based on a report of Amnesty International.

However, Duterte told supporters and the media last week at the Comelec that the Amnesty report was inaccurate because he had actually killed 1,700 people.

The CHR chief, whose appointment was endorsed to Aquino by Roxas, said there should be a thorough investigation into Duterte’s public pronouncements. Read More

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