In slamming Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Luis “Chito” Gascon, President Rodrigo Duterte mistakenly said that Gascon was not a lawyer.
However, Gascon earned his bachelor’s degree in law from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1996 and passed the bar after a year. He earned his master’s degree in International Law at Cambridge University in England from 1996 to 1997.
Duterte made the erroneous claim when he hit Gascon and the CHR for interfering in the cases involving the security forces.
“Palibhasa nga hindi nga abogado ang t—. ‘Pag may mag-ano, magpadala ng imbestigador at pati siya pumupunta, then there will be a time na ‘yung resulta ng investigation sa baba, papasok ‘yan sa opisina mo, mga report ng mga imbestigador mo,” the President told reporters during an early morning interview on September 13 at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Duterte also pointed to Gascon as the reason why the CHR only got P1,000 budget for 2018 from the House of Representatives. However, the amount may change during the bicameral meeting of the House with the senate.
“Palibhasa nga hindi nga abogado. And if you are not sure of yourself or where you stand, you might as well just maybe shut up. Ngayon ‘yang 1,000 na binigay na ng Congress sa opisina niya, kasi galit ang Congress sa kanya,” the President added.
However, Duterte said he would review the House’s decision to avoid breaking up government institutions like the CHR.
You can watch part of Duterte’s interview here:
But more than just being a lawyer, Gascon also served as the youngest member of the Constitution Commission that wrote the 1987 Constitution, wrote UP Law Professor Jay Batongbacal.
Neiizens reacted to Duterte’s claim about Gascon.
“Ano to, lokohan?” one asked.
“So Duterte thinks that only lawyers can perform their duties accordingly and only lawyers are worthy people in the society?” another one reacted.
On Twitter, netizens also reacted to Duterte’s wrong claim.
Duterte claimed that Chito Gascon is not a lawyer.
Fact: He is a lawyer, and one of those who wrote the 1987 Constitution.
— Immanuel Kent (@KentKerbyy) September 14, 2017
Duterte: “Walang alam…palibhasa nga hindi abogado.” (referring to CHR Chair Gascon)
Gascon is a lawyer and many more.
— Maria (@marialeabrndth) September 13, 2017
Fact-checking a thing of the past?
is fact checking really just a thing in the past now?? omg..
Duterte mistakenly claims Gascon isn’t a lawyer https://t.co/QfQytxEjRt
— 🐯 TheTigerMudra 🌈 (@TheTigerMudra) September 13, 2017
‘Shooting first, asking questions later.’
— Jake (@toots069) September 13, 2017