Gordon: Why is UN silent on murders in Chicago?


MANILA, Philippines  Sen. Richard Gordon on Monday questioned why deaths in Chicago, which he called the murder of the US, have not been raised by the United Nations, which has expressed concern drug-related killings in the Philippines. 

"Yung sinasabi natin, 545 [murders] sa Chicago, isang siyudad sa United States of America, bakit hindi ginugulpi ng UN yan?" Gordon, new chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, said.

At the fifth Senate hearing on extra judicial killings, Gordon said that as of Oct. 1, 2016, there have been 545 killings in Chicago alone. Yet, he said, the UN has been silent on this, while the Philippines, with around 3,000 drug-related killings in the whole country since July 1, has been scrutinized not only by the UN, but by US President Barack Obama as well.

"Pag tinignan mo ang record, nakalagay ang record, 516. Isang siyudad lamang sa America, siyudad pa kung saan galing si President Obama. Sa atin tatlong libo, sa buong Pilipinas," Gordon said.

According to the Chicago Tribune, which tracks crime in the city, there have been 560 murders in Chicago since Jan.1, 2016. It must be noted that these are homicides and not potential human rights violations by security forces, the subject of the Senate investigation.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, meanwhile, stated that he was so surprised with the statistics regarding Chicago. He also said that if the human rights record of the United States is so bad, "I think we should review the Philippines giving aid to the US and stop it in the meantime."

This may have been a reference to US senators who have said that the US might reconsider aid to the Philippines because of a law that prohibits assistance to foreign military units that violate human rights.

US Sen. Patrick Leahy said the law is meant "to ensure that the US is not complicit in human rights violations committed by forces that might receive US assistance, and to encourage foreign governments to hold accountable perpetrators of such abuses."

President Rodrigo Duterte has said in the past that the US should not criticize the Philippines because it has cases of black people being killed by police, events that US President Obama has spoken against. The United Nations has also called the US government's attention to cases of police abuse in the past.

READ: US senators reconsider assistance to Philippines amid drug war

Senator Leila De Lima on the other hand, rebutted the statistics given by Gordon, saying that they should be careful about figures, and look into what the killings are exactly.

"Are these drug-related killings? Because insofar as this investigation is concerned, the subject matter is supposed to be the drug-related killings. Nothing else," De Lima said.

Gordon defended himself by stating that he mentioned the killings in Chicago, because "a killing is a killing."

"I say that not to defend anybody, but to make sure that we know what we're doing here," Gordon added.

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