(OCTOBER 21, 2019) – Anyone is free to file lawsuits against President Rodrigo Duterte as soon as he steps down from office, his legal counsel and spokesman said on Monday, leaving it to the courts to determine the validity of the cases.
Salvador Panelo was reacting to statements from the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, which plans to sue the President for human rights violations in connection with his war on drugs policy.
More than 6,000 suspected drug peddlers and users had been killed in anti-drug operations by the police and thousands more were killed by unknown asssailants. Police said those killed in anti-drugs operations resisted arrests and chose to shoot it out with undercover policemen.
“It’s a free country; everyone is entitled to file any case against whomsoever they think that has violated the law and let the courts decide the validity of such complaint,” Panelo told reporters during his regular press briefing at the Palace.
Sitting presidents are immuned from legal suits but they may face charges after they step down from office.
Congress can impeach and legally remove a president from office after a fair trial in the Senate.
Several lawyers from various NUPL chapters nationwide agreed to begin preparing criminal cases against Duterte in 2022, once his term ends. Aside from Duterte, state security forces will also be faced with charges for the alleged extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the administration’s war on drugs.
“It is timely that human rights lawyers from our chapters all over the country converged today considering the escalating human rights violations and the continuing impunity,” NUPL secretary-general Rey Cortez said.
“We will exhaust all legal venues, both domestic and international, to provide legal remedy to the families of victims of human rights violations,” he added.
The Palace, however, does not consider this worrisome for Duterte.
“The only worry that the President has is the sufferings of the people. That’s why he does a lot of things to make lives comfortable for them,” Panelo said.
Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs had claimed lives of more than 5,500 drug personalities since assuming office in 2016 per official data. Human rights groups, meanwhile, have a higher count of more than 27,000 lives including personalities killed vigilante-style.
The administration had consistently denied the existence of extrajudicial killings. (Randell Ritumalta/MM)
Our Privacy Commitment
TV5 Network Inc. values and respects your right to privacy. We are committed to safeguarding your personal data in compliance with Republic Act No. 10173 or the Data Privacy Act of 2012 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
Why do we collect your personal information (as applicable)?
We collect and maintain basic information about you as users of TV5 sites for the following purposes:
Where do we get your personal information?
There are several ways we collect your personal information.
Information that you personally provided.
Most of the personal information we have are those that you have provided us when you:
Information we collect during your engagement with us
We also collect information as you use our products and services, like:
Information we collect from other sources
We also collect your personal information through other activities such as our market research initiatives, when you visit and use our websites and mobile apps, and from our subsidiaries, affiliates, and third-party business partners to whom you have given consent to share your information to us.
When do we disclose personal information?
There are circumstances when we are required to share some of the information you have provided us. In these cases, we ensure that your personal information will be disclosed on a confidential manner, through secure channels that is in compliance with the Data Privacy Act and other privacy laws.
In some instances, we may be required to disclose your personal information to our agents, subsidiaries, affiliates, business partners and other third-party agencies and service providers as part of our regular business operations and for the provision of our programs and services. This means we might share your information with:
How we protect your personal information
We also put in effect the following safeguards:
TV5 will not collect, use, or disclose your personal information for any purpose other than those identified in this Commitment, your Service Agreement or our Terms of Service, and any other purpose that you may have given your consent for.
For greater clarity, unless you provide specific consent, we shall not:
What are your choices?
You are given certain rights in relation to your personal data under the Data Privacy Act. We would like to ensure that we have your consent to continue to collect, use, and disclose your personal information for the purposes that we have identified. We want you to know that you do have choices and can object or withdraw your consent and/or edit your consent preferences at any time.
If you wish to have access to your personal information in our records; or you think that such personal information we have of you is incomplete, not up-to-date, or otherwise inaccurate, you may get in touch with our Data Privacy Officer through the contact details provided below. In some instances, we may request for supporting documents or proof before we effect any requested changes to your personal information.
Data Protection Officer
TV5 Network Inc.
Reliance corner Sheridan Streets
What happens when there are changes in our Policy?
You will always be provided notice if these changes are significant and, if we are required by law, we will ensure to obtain your updated consent.