Duterte violated Magna Carta of Women, says human rights panel

(From agencies)

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has ruled that incoming president Rodrigo Duterte violated the Magna Carta of Women with the statements he made during a campaign rally last April about the 1989 rape-slay of an Australian missionary in Davao City, ABS-CBN News reports.

Rodrigo R Duterte

Rodrigo R Duterte

In a resolution issued Wednesday, the CHR said it found the words and actions of the Davao City mayor to be discriminatory of women, and asked the Civil Service Commission and the Department of Interior and Local Government to take appropriate measures.

The CHR has the constitutional duty to protect human rights and to call out persons when these rights are violated no matter what their position in society may be, CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon, an appointee of outgoing President Aquino, said.

The Commission believes this mandate does not exculpate Mayor Duterte from acts committed or words uttered in the course of the electoral campaign when it involves breaches to fundamental rights, in this case, the prohibition of gender-based discrimination and violence, he added.

On Wednesday, Duterte came under attack also from a known supporter who had this piece of advice to him: Do not become a monster as power could be intoxicating, Inquirer.net reports

Ateneo de Davao University President Fr. Joel Tabora SJ said he hoped Duterte would remain true to his word by respecting the laws of the land and not work with death squads on a national scale.

When one feels he is beyond the law and has many followers, absolute power becomes too dangerous and most people try to take advantage of it, Tabora said.

On Duterte’s unconventional ways and foul language, he said the public should accept them as his “style,” and a “a way of self-expression.”

Congress starts counting presidential, VP votes

The Philippine Congress on Wednesday started the official count of votes cast in the May 9 presidential election, though confirmation of Rodrigo Duterte’s apparent victory may be slowed by disputes in the more closely fought vice presidential race, AP reports.

Congress staffers inspect ballot boxes containing Certificates of Canvass for President and Vice President in Quezon City

Congress staffers inspect ballot boxes containing Certificates of Canvass for President and Vice President

Duterte, the 71-year-old mayor of southern Davao city, exceeded his closest rival by more than 6 million votes in an unofficial tally. All four rivals have conceded defeat.

The unofficial tally of votes cast in the vice presidential contest showed Rep. Leni Robredo leading by more than 200,000 votes. Rival Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has disputed that nearly complete tally based on alleged elections irregularities.

As the counting began at the House of Representatives, the candidates’ initial vote totals were reflected on a big screen. In the plenary hall of Congress, lawmakers and candidates’ lawyers were seen checking election returns contained in ballot boxes. If there are no objections or questions, the votes are counted from each province.

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