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Solons raise alarm over Duterte’s persistent threats vs HR advocates

Lawmakers from the opposition yesterday expressed alarm over President Duterte’s persistent death threats against human rights groups and advocates even as one said that the case filed against the latter is getting stronger.
Akbayan partylist Rep. Tom Villarin said the President’s threats are now a serious concern.
“It’s becoming irritating to hear a president giving death threats to HR (human rights) advocates. But in the same vein, it’s a cause for worry as his fanatics will take his word literally and do his bidding,” Villarin said yesterday.
He said that if anything happens to human rights advocates, Duterte should be held accountable.  
“It’s a dangerous precedent if such happens and the President should be held accountable for it,” Villarin said, noting that Duterte fanatics could take the President’s word seriously.
Villarin said that human rights advocates could now be the target of state-sponsored killings as the drug pushers and addicts, some 8,000 of whom have been summarily executed since the start of the Duterte administration.
ACT partylist Rep. France Castro shared Villarin’s view that the threat should be a cause of concern in a democracy like the Philippines.
Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat said that Duterte’s recent statements against human rights advocates is making the case against Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) stronger.
“Kung ako naghain ng kaso, ire-record ko yung mga banta at iprepresenta bilang evidence (If I were the complainant in the case I would record the threats and present it as evidence to the ICC),” Baguilat said.
Lawyer Jude Sabio, counsel for self-confessed member of the Davao Death Squad Edgar Matobato, has filed a case against Duterte before the ICC in connection with the extra-judicial killing.

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