Abolish CHR? Duterte is ‘out of his mind’ — bishop

Abolish CHR? Duterte is ‘out of his mind’ — bishop

Militant groups march towards the Batasang Pambansa during President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address, July 24, 2017. MARIA TAN

MANILA— A Catholic bishop said President Rodrigo Duterte is ‘out of his mind’ to even think about abolishing the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon said Duterte’s threats to close down the independent body only shows his “no knowledge” about how governments should operate in a democratic society.

“My God, Duterte is getting out of his mind!” Bastes said. “His desire to abolish CHR is a sign that he has the dangerous tendency to be a dictator. Heavens forbid!”

For his part, retired Bishop Teodoro Bacani said that the CHR was created and is protected by the Constitution.

The prelate said that abolishing the body tasked to document human rights abuses would take constitutional amendments or Charter change.

“The President cannot abolish the CHR because it’s a constitutional body,” said Bacani, one of the members of the Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution.

“Let us pray dat our President will regain his good sense,” he added.

Duterte again ranted against human rights advocates and threatened to abolish the CHR which has been critical in his administration’s bloody war on drugs. CBCPNews