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News Press Releases On Human Rights Day, Gordon asks public to defend our rights and democratic institutions

On Human Rights Day, Gordon asks public to defend our rights and democratic institutions


December 11, 2021 Press Releases
On Human Rights Day, Gordon asks public to defend our rights and democratic institutions

Senator Richard J. Gordon called on Filipinos to resist attempts by some quarters to infringe on our basic human rights and defend the integrity of our democratic institutions, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.  

Gordon, who chairs the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee, made the call as the country joins the rest of the world in celebrating this year’s Human Rights Day with the theme “Equality – Reducing Inequalities, Advancing Human Rights” on Friday.

“This reminds us that every human being, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political affiliation, social origin, property, birth, or any other status, is entitled to live with respect and dignity, especially during emergencies,” he said.

“Kailangan natin tumindig sa sinumang nagtatangkang balewalain ang ating mga karapatang pangtao at bastusin ang ating mga institusyon sa kahit anumang panahon. Ang pagrespeto sa ating karapatan ay walang pinipiling panahon,” he added.

As the youngest delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, Gordon was concerned with the plight of human rights in our country, drafting the Article on the Duties of Citizens, a local counterpart to the United States Bill of Rights.

    When he was elected in the Senate, he has pushed for the passage of several bills that safeguard human rights and defend our democratic institutions. He chaired various committees, notably the Senate committee on justice and human rights.

    As chairman of the Senate Public Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), Gordon has led numerous investigations to run after malfeasance, misfeasance and nonfeasance of government officials.

    Recently, he investigated the alleged anomalous contracts the government entered with favoured suppliers, notably the Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, for the procurement of COVID-19-related medical supplies and equipment.

    His investigation on the COVID-19 transactions drew the ire of President Duterte, who prohibited his Cabinet officials from attending the Senate probe and resorted to personal attacks against him and other senators.

Included in these numerous bills Gordon filed is Senate Bill 1853, or Age of Statutory Rape and Other Sexual Abuse Act, which provides all measures to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

Another is Senate Bill 1828, which seeks to establish the Police Law Enforcement Courts, that will exercise its jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases arising from violations of constitutional rights committed by police officers.      Gordon, a lawyer by profession, also pushed for the enactment of Republic Act 11459, also known as the Judges-at-Large Act, which protects the right for the accused to enjoy a fair and speedy trial.

According to him, there have been many instances of human rights violations in the past years and called on the Filipino electorate and candidates alike to put human rights back in the national discourse, especially during this 2022 election.

“Freedom of speech has been stifled, the right to a fair trial has been flagrantly disregarded through these extrajudicial killings, and the right to live a healthy life has been violated by government's sub-par policies on pandemic response,” he said.

“Hindi natin maikakaila na ang karapatang pantao ay nababalewala sa panahon natin ngayon. Ating ibalik ang puso at pagkatao sa ating gobyerno,” he added.

As volunteer chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) since 2004, Gordon has also led in comforting the sick and aiding the dying through the PRC’s various programs, projects, and services.

Rumbling stomachs were filled, and thirst was quenched through the PRC’s food trucks and water tankers that provide potable water to areas of concern.

During the pandemic, the PRC was able to alleviate human suffering by extending a helping hand to laid off workers through its cash assistance and livelihood programs, among many others.