Former President Benigno Aquino III is partly to blame for the culture of impunity in the country because he failed to do enough to address incidents of media killings during his term.
Malacañang hit back at Aquino on Monday following his objection to the State of the Nation Address (Sona) in which President Rodrigo Duterte separated concern for human lives from human rights.
“I wish he did more also in protecting human life. It was during his administration that the United Nations noticed that we were in breach of our obligation to the right to life, especially on the killing of journalists as well,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said at a press briefing.
“As a former President, he shares … the blame for this culture of impunity,” he added.
Aquino had said in a statement that human rights and human lives were inseparable.
The former President’s remarks was an apparent swipe at Mr. Duterte’s Sona in which the latter stressed that he was more concerned with human lives in combating illegal drugs.
“If you think that I can be dissuaded from continuing this fight because of demonstrations, your protests, which I, by the way, find misdirected, then you got it all wrong. Your concern is human rights, mine is human lives,” Mr. Duterte said last week.