Lacson downplays UN call to probe Pres. Duterte

Senator Panfilo "Ping" Lacson on Wednesday downplayed the call of United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein to Philippine judicial authorities to probe the admission of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte that he had killed people when he was Mayor of Davao City.

Lacson, in a statement, pointed out that the UN rights chief "is not familiar" with the Philippine Constitution and its laws.

He noted that all Philippine presidents enjoy immunity from suit during his or her term and that there has yet to be proof of state-sponsored killings in the country.

"First, our president enjoys immunity from suit during his term. Second, no matter how many times a person in our country admits having committed murder, as long as there is no other evidence to corroborate his extra judicial confession, the case cannot stand in any court of law," Lacson said.

"That UN official can shout to high heavens to investigate the president but unfortunately for him, he can't get past that call," he added.

Sen. Richard "Dick" Gordon, previously said that Pres. Duterte's admission might be part of his "strategy" to fight drug menace in the country.

"The President is prone to making exaggerated statements. I think that is part of his strategy," Gordon told reporters in an earlier interview.

To recall, Sen. Leila de Lima, staunch critic of Pres. Duterte, last month filed a 26-page petition for writ of habeas data against Pres. Duterte at the Supreme Court (SC) determined to test his Presidential immunity from suit.

"This case presents a novel issue of transcendental importance: Can a sitting President wage a personal vendetta against petitioner and use the resources of his powerful office to crucify her as a woman, a human being, and a duly elected senator in violation of her right to privacy in life, liberty and security?" the petition read.

The petition stated that De Lima has been "repeatedly subjected to crude personal attacks" by Pres. Duterte which involve the "wrongful collection and publication of her alleged private affairs and activities that are outside of the realm of legitimate public concern."

Source: Philippines News Agency