• Breaking News

    Tuesday, July 4, 2017

    Commission on Human Rights: We’re after abuses by gov’t, not crimes by ordinary civilians

    “..the conscience of the government”

    That’s how the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) characterized its real function contained in an infographic circulating over social media, specifically Facebook, last weekend.


    Claiming that they are after the abuses committed by the government and not after the crimes committed by ordinary civilians, CHR revealed what their constitutional mandate really is.

    “It is the CHR’s duty to protect the citizens’ rights from abuses by the state, such as the [civilian] government, police, and military,” the CHR wrote as caption alongside the infographic they had previously posted.

    “It is the mandate of the CHR to ensure that there will be no abuse or negligence on the part of the government in protecting and upholding the rights of all the citizens, especially those in the margins,” CHR added.

    Drawing the line between their duty and that of the police, CHR continued to explain that criminal offenses committed by people who are not public officials are actually out of their business. As how they had put it on their statement:

    “If it is a civilian or private person who did the crime, such as killing or rape, it is the Philippine National Police (PNP) who has the duty and mandate to take action.”

    For a brief background, the Commission on Human Rights was actualized through Article 13, Section 17 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. It’s specific powers and functions moreover, are enclosed in the Section 18 of the same provision.


    Having been mandated to perform specific duties and defined responsibilities, the CHR finally commented on the “demonizing” criticisms they had been receiving from the public every time they stand to uphold their mandate, especially regarding the issue about drugs.

    “Everytime we talk to the media about this or that killing, look at social media. We are immediately accused of being protectors of criminals,” said CHR Commissioner Roberto Eugenio Cadiz during an interview with the Inquirer.

    “One senator even sent us a pile of cases challenging us to investigate carnappings, kidnappings. And he’s already a senator. They don’t understand that the CHR is not the police,” Cadiz added.

    Wanting to express more of CHR’s sentiments, Cadiz continued to say that the CHR, claiming on his behalf, are not against the state’s initiative to eradicate drugs and uphold peace and order.

    “We are not against the government peace and order program, not against going after drug syndicates. What we are against are the shortcutting of processes, such that innocent people merely accused are killed by the wayside in this campaign,” Cadiz explained.

    Conclusively, Cadiz pointed out the commission has no intentions to “harass” or “embarrass” the current administration and its government. Rather, what they are up to is for them to perform their mandate effectively by being vigilant against human rights abuses and violations committed by the states and making them accountable for such offenses.


    “We put pressure not for the purpose of harassing or embarrasing our government, but for making them accountable so human rights violations don’t continue,” Cadiz said conclusively.



    Source: Inquirer News

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