[Statement] on the arrest of health worker Dr. Natividad ‘Naty’ Castro | CHR

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the arrest of health worker Dr. Natividad ‘Naty’ Castro

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) expresses grave concern over the manner of arrest of health worker Dr. Natividad ‘Naty’ Castro early Friday, 18 February 2022 in San Juan City.

Dra. Naty had been red-tagged for her work as a human rights and development worker. Before the pandemic hit the country in 2020, Castro initiated several health programs in Mindanao. She also brought members of the Lumad community before the United Nations in Geneva to seek help against harassment in their areas. She also once served as secretary-general of rights group Karapatan in the Caraga region.

CHR has dispatched a quick response team in NCR and Caraga and is undertaking a motu propio investigation on the reports received that indicate possible violations of the Philippine National Police rules of procedure, among other issues.

In ensuring the protection of the rights of the Dra. Naty, CHR is coordinating with local authorities and is in close contact with the Castro family to assist them in Dra. Naty’s safety while in custody.

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