Pres Duterte willing to meet human rights advocates

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers speech during the 120th founding anniversary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on September 26, 2017. The DOJ serves as the government's prosecution arm and administers the government's criminal justice system by investigating crimes, prosecuting offenders, and overseeing the correctional system. With the theme, “Grace and Justice: 120 Years of Service to the Filipino People,” the DOJ upholds its pledge to provide every person equal access to justice, to faithfully safeguard constitutional rights, and to ensure that no one is deprived of due process of law.

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated his willingness to meet human rights advocates to discuss why drugs are rampant in the Philippines.

The President made the pronouncement during his speech on the occasion of the Department of Justice’s 120th founding anniversary on September 26 at the PICC in Pasay City.

“I hope that the Americans are here, especially those connected with the human rights. Dapat pag-usapan natin,” said the President, referring to the drugs menace in the country.

The President maintained that drug operation is not as simple as selling ‘it’ to anybody just like selling a balut, ice cream, cigarettes among others on highways.

He said the operation with drug business is always an organized crime.

“It is always a result of a syndicated agreement. Kayong mga prosecutor, alam ninyo iyan. It has to have the organization to operate. There has to be some cooking and there has to be some loyal lieutenants to make the distribution, down to the peddlers who take the orders from the above,” the President stressed.

The President also slammed the fact that the alleged extra judicial killing is being used to discredit the drug campaign.

“Araw-araw ito, hindi ito mahinto, nakikita ko kasi, sinasakyan talaga, EJK, EJK EJK. So be it. Make it the issue all throughout my term,” uttered the President.

“Ito kasi iyong EJK, EJK, sinakyan talaga nang husto eh,” the President added.

Present during the anniversary celebration were Justice Undersecretary Raymund Mecate, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Secretary Adelino Sitoy.

In his welcome remarks, Secretary Aguirre said the DOJ will continue to carry out its mandate to make the country a better place.