MANILA, Philippines – Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza, a known pro-life advocate, wants his more than 300 colleagues in the House of Representatives to join him in coming up with a resolution declaring full support for President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.
“I challenge my fellow lawmakers to join me in sponsoring a House resolution expressing our unanimous support for President Duterte in his war on drugs…” Atienza, known for his conservative beliefs and his anti-death penalty stance, said in a statement Wednesday.
It was Surigao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Robert Ace Barbers who raised the possibility of having a resolution in support of the drug war during his interpellation on the privilege speech delivered by Atienza on Tuesday.
“If this would in any way help improve or perhaps erase the negative image of the President before the United Nations, maybe we could also ask our colleagues in the Senate to do the same…” Barbers added.
In his speech, Atienza mentioned the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the New York Times (NYT) for allegedly criticizing Duterte and “meddling” in the country’s affairs.
The UNHRC adopted in July an Iceland-led resolution that allows the review of the human rights situation in the Philippines, while the NYT had published editorials critical of Duterte and his administration’s brutal war on drugs.
Barbers meanwhile said he refiled his resolution compelling House members to undergo a mandatory drug test, which Atienza backed.
Caloocan 2nd District Rep. Edgar Erice has challenged Atienza’s proposal and asked to clarify Duterte’s anti-illegal drugs policy.
Erice said that while efforts to quell the illegal drugs trade should be supported, the country still needs a “comprehensive and clear” policy and not just a “nomenclature war on drugs.”
In a statement, Atienza said the drug problem could be addressed through prevention, strict enforcement of laws and rehabilitation. /gsg
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