Commission on Human Rights chairman Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon allegedly wanted to protect the human rights of the local terrorists Maute Group and the netizens are not reacting kindly to the story.
However, the source of the story turned out to be the satirical website adobochronicles.com.
Gascon allegedly said this in reaction to President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao: “respect and uphold the human rights of the terrorist group, Maute,” Adobo Chronicles wrote.
The CHR chair, in an exclusive interview with the website, said that he would recommend these two things to Duterte for the protection of Maute members’ human rights:
“First, the Philippine military should determine the number of Maute group members now operating in Marawi City, then match it with the same, equal number of government soldiers engaged in fighting the rebels. It is unfair that there are more troops than the rebels.”
“Second, the government troops must not use bombs or other sophisticated military equipment because it puts the rebels at a great disadvantage.”
Adobo Chronicles even noted this in conclusion: “Filipinos can truly rely on the Commission on Human Rights to look after everyone’s welfare — rebels or not.”
However, for those who are not yet familiar with Adobo Chronicles, it is a satirical website, which described itself as “your source of up-to-date, unbelievable news.” It added in its About Us page that “everything you read on this site is based on fact, except for the lies.”
Adobo Chronicles informed its readers about its new format in writing stories.
“The Adobo Chronicles has recently adopted a new format to help readers distinguish between fact and fiction. Statements and paragraphs in our posts that are in italics represent the facts. The rest are fiction.”
So, going back to Adobo Chronicles’ story about Gascon and his alleged statement about wanting to protect the human rights of the Maute terrorists, it is obvious that everything was a lie since everything, except for the website’s name, was written in regular font, not italics.
The CHR released a statement on the declaration of martial law in Mindanao on May 24 via its official Facebook page.
“The Commission on Human Rights condemns the recent attacks of terrorist groups in the southern city of Marawi in Mindanao. We are with the nation in praying for the safety of our sisters and brothers caught in the crossfire, as well as with our security forces on the ground ensuring the safety of our fellow Filipinos.
We urge the government to ensure that the rights of all Filipinos are upheld while addressing this humanitarian crisis in southern Philippines. The 1987 Constitution enforces the respect for all civil liberties and assures the protection of human rights despite such declaration of Martial Law, which includes every Filipino’s rights to life, freedom from torture, warrantless arrest, and illegal detention.”
Spare yourself from having to bash Gascon for something that he did not actually say. From now on, let us start teaching ourselves how to distinguish fact from fiction and deliberate lies.