Lacson: You can uphold both human rights, human lives at the same time

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Lacson: You can uphold both human rights, human lives at the same time
The file photo shows Senator Ping Lacson, who is running for president in this year's elections.
STAR / Geremy Pintolo, file

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential candidate Panfilo "Ping" Lacson said on Saturday evening that there are many approaches where both human rights and human lives can be upheld.

The senator said this in response to a question about which was more important, following President Rodrigo Duterte's earlier remark that his concern is not human rights, but the lives of people amid cases of extrajudicial killings in his controversial war on drugs. 

"When you say human rights, you're also talking about human lives... Maybe [Duterte] needs to expound more on what he's saying about individual human rights against the human lives of the majority of Filipinos.. I think he was referring to his fight against illegal drugs. The problem is, there are actually many approaches where both can be satisfied," Lacson said in Tagalog during an interview on "The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews."

"We need to weigh their importance, while not breaking the rule of law," he added.

On anti-terror law

Lacson, the principal sponsor of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020, assured the public that there are many safeguards in the law which will protect human rights. 

"We're sure of it. It's guaranteed in the law. The law itself has several safeguards," he said. 

According to him, some of the safeguards of the ATA include the reporting of the suspects' arrests within 24 hours to the nearest courts, the Commission Human Rights and the Anti-Terrorism Council.

Lacson said, however, that he wasn't the only one who crafted the law, highlighting that he was a just a co-author and that he sponsored it since it was referred to the Senate Committee on National Defense, which he chairs.

Last month, the Supreme Court (SC) in an en banc session declared portions of the ATA as unconstitutional, specifically the part which defines terrorism as "advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and political rights."

The SC explained that this was rendered null for "being overbroad and violative of the freedom of expression."

Lacson is the presidential bet running under the Partido Para sa Demokratikong Reporma. His running mate is Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III. 

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