AS THE world commemorates International Human Rights Day Thursday, Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan reiterates his call for the immediate release of Baby Randall Emmanuel Echanis and his peasant organizer-mother Amanda from detention.
“Nakaugnay ang konsepto ng human rights sa ating pagiging tao. Pinanganak tayong may human rights kasi tao tayo. Pero, nitong nakaraang linggo, saksi tayo sa pagpapakulong sa isang sanggol at sa nanay niya,” said Pangilinan.
“Walang-kamalay-malay si Baby Randall Emmanuel pero nilalabag na ang kanyang mga karapatan. Ang pagpapalaya sa kanilang mag-ina ang tamang anyo ng pagdiwang ng Human Rights Day,” he added.
Pangilinan said that instead of being universal to all, especially to the poor and the powerless, human rights have become a privilege for the powerful.
“Baby Randall shares this experience with peasants and farmers whose human rights have always been limited because of their status in life. Dahil mahirap sila. Dahil maliit o minamaliit ang boses nila sa lipunan,” the senator said.
“Ang human rights ay hindi lamang pansalag sa human wrongs. When we fight for human rights, ipinaglalaban natin ang pagiging tao nating lahat. No one is more human than the other, and hence no one should be able to invalidate another’s rights,” he added.
Pangilinan is principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 9201, designating December 4 to 10 as The National Human Rights Consciousness Week, and enacted into law in 2002.
“Let us commemorate Human Rights Week by steadfastly fighting for human rights daily,” he said.