The CHR chief earlier asked Duterte to withdraw his “hurtful” name-calling. He added that he has not been involved in any partisan activity since being tasked to perform human rights programs in 2014.
“Siguro tayong lahat naman, nasanay na rin tayo sa mga salitang medyo masakit at medyo below-the-belt mula sa bibig ng Presidente. Pero umaasa po tayo na baka sakali sa usaping pambansa ay sa level ng marangal na usapin,” Gascon told DZMM.
(All of us have perhaps become used to the President’s hurtful and below-the-belt speech. But we still hope that national discourse could be elevated to the level of honorable dialogue.)
“Sabi ko nga, kung pwede ma-withdraw ni Presidente ang mga ganoong masakit na pananalita para mayroon naman tayong common breathing space na kahit hindi tayo nagkakaunawaan, maaaring mayroong dialogue.”
(Perhaps the President could withdraw his hurtful statements so we could have a common breathing space where we could have dialogues even if we do not agree with each other.)
Gascon also rejected calls for his resignation, saying he needs to defend his agency’s independence amid the current “external pressure.”
“I will stand my ground, I will not abandon my watch,” he vowed.
Gascon also said he is ready to defend the CHR’s proposed P678 million budget, which congressmen slashed to P1,000 last week.