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    Saturday, May 6, 2017

    Prominent Lawyer to Agnes Callamard: 'You don't know about our problems so don't tell us what to do'

    Atty. Bruce Rivera, one of the lawyers who helped forge the impeachment complaint against Vice President Leni Robredo, lambasted United Nations rapporteur Agnes Callamard, insisting that the standards of western nations differ from that of Asians and she must respect that.
    Photo by Philippine Star

    This was after the UN official visited the country last week for an event by the Commission on Human Rights and the government complained about Callamard's alleged failure to inform them of her visit.

    Callamard has been actively opposing the extrajudicial killings in the country which she pinpointed to President Rodrigo Duterte's war against drugs.

    Many have opposed Callamard's surprise visit, seeing it as a form of conspiracy.

    "I mean this with no disrespect but your kind of meddling is the reason why terrorists are born. You come from a Western perspective and insist on the western concept of morality, values and freedoms. And if we do not follow you, you tell us it is wrong," the lawyer from San Beda Alabang said.

    He insisted that the Philippines differ from the western nations.

    "But we are NOT the WEST. And we no longer want to be like you. We are Asians and we have our own way of getting things done. We have rights but we also believe in discipline. Our morality does not always involve organized religion," he said.

    Rivera insisted that the Filipino concept of public welfare involves listening to the voice of the majority and not just to the first one who whispers it to Callamard's ear.

    He used the example of late Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who was known for his transformation of Singapore into an economic success but was criticized for alleged human rights violations.

    Lee detained some of his critics without trial, restricted the media and foreign publications, and arrested a number of journalists, justifying it by saying that for a nation to develop, sacrifices must be made.

    "Decades ago, many people criticized Lee Kwan Yew in the same manner Duterte is being lectured by you now. But Yew insisted on the Asian way. And it also worked," he said.

    "They are many ways to skin a cat but there is only one way to create a terrorist. And the west has been successful at that. Ergo,you do not know shit of our problems so stop telling us what to do," he further wrote.

    SOURCE: Bruce Rivera

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