Davao’s Duterte, CHR’s Rosales

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Monday, January 13, 2014


CLEARLY, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte doesn't have much respect for Etta Rosales, chief of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). But then the mayor doesn't care a whit about rights of criminals, which Rosales has been pressing Duterte to heed.

And having nurtured the image of a tough dude in the wild west, the mayor didn't bother with such niceties as "with due respect, ma'm." He told Rosales to shut up and insulted her by asking if ethics was all that she had "between her ears."

The latest clash between the two public officials erupted when Duterte last week threatened to kill rice smugglers in the city. Rosales cautioned him about due process of law, to which even suspects are entitled.

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The mayor's role, she said, is good governance, not killing people.

The CHR chief is right but she knows the mayor "has always been like that," which doesn't justify his behavior but should've told her that using the same tack on Duterte without success was like tilting at some windmill. At best, posturing and doing nothing else made her look silly.

Not the first

And this isn't the first time. Years back, the mayor thumbed up his nose at efforts to make him answer for unsolved murders in his city. And CHR didn't do anything except make the ritual warning. Last July 16, Duterte snubbed Rosales once more when she rapped his "shoot-to-ill" order against abductors of a Quezon City businesswoman in a ruse the victim staged in Davao.

Rosales apparently can't put up. Shutting up may be better than calling public attention to CHR's continuing helplessness in dealing with the mayor.

(paseares@sunstar.com.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 14, 2014.

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