Tag Archives: Commission on Human Rights (Philippines)

[Statement] on the ambush of lawyer Rex Fernandez | CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia

#HumanRights #StopTheKillingsPh

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the ambush of lawyer Rex Fernandez

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) condemns the killing of lawyer Rex Fernandez in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Thursday afternoon, 26 August 2021. CHR will be sending a quick reaction team to conduct an independent investigation on this incident.

Fernandez was said to have been ambushed by unidentified assailants when his vehicle stopped at an intersection. The lawyer died on the spot. The lawyer’s driver was reportedly left wounded after the attack.

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[Statement] on the shooting of a curfew violator with mental illness by a barangay tanod | CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the shooting of a curfew violator with mental illness by a barangay tanod

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is now probing the reported shooting of Eduardo Geñoga, a 59-year-old curfew violator with mental illness, by Cesar Panlaqui, a barangay tanod. The shooting happened in Tondo, Manila on 7 August 2021, the second day of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.

According to reports, Panlaqui accosted Geñoga for allegedly slamming doors and gates in Tayuman Street during curfew hours. The victim allegedly approached the barangay tanod with a stick, which prompted the suspect to shoot the victim in the chest resulting to the latter’s death.

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[in the news] CHR pushes for passage of bill protecting human-rights workers | Inquirer.net

#HumanRights #Protection

CHR pushes for passage of bill protecting human-rights workers

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has called for the passage of a bill that seeks to protect human-rights workers in view of recent attacks on activists and members of progressive organizations.

According to CHR, House Bill No. 9199 or the Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Protection Bill should be considered a high-priority legislation especially in light of various reports that rights workers and other activists are either being harassed or targeted.

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[Statement] on the brazen attack on the life of the human rights lawyer, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen | CHR VI

#HumanRights #Killings

Statement on the brazen attack on the life of the human rights lawyer, Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen | CHR VI

The Commission on Human Rights Region VI strongly condemns and denounces the brazen attempt on the life of Atty. Angelo Karlo Guillen by unknown assailants in the evening of March 3, 2021 along General Luna Street in Iloilo City.

The increasing number of violent attacks against lawyers deserves utmost attention and condemnation to the highest degree. Lawyers must never be subjected to attacks for merely performing their duties. Lawyers are essential for the attainment of justice and the rule of law. Regardless of who they represent, lawyers must be given enough freedom to freely exercise their profession without threats of attack and violence upon their person.

The Commission on Human Rights calls upon our Philippine National Police and other law enforcement officers to swiftly and effectively investigate this case and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We also urge the government to provide measures in order to safeguard the rights of the people against such attacks.

Atty. Jonnie L. Dabuco
CHR VI Director

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[Statement] on the unilateral termination of DND of its accord with UP -CHR

#HumanRights #DefendUP

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights on the unilateral termination of the Department of National Defense (DND) of its accord with the University of the Philippines (UP)

The UP-DND Accord is more than an agreement limiting the entry of State forces in any of the UP campuses. Seen from a history of abuse of power since the dictatorship, it serves as an assurance that the freedom to express dissent, to protest, and the exercise of academic freedom will be respected by the government, particularly by the police and military.

For more than three decades, this Accord has served to protect the University’s students, faculty, and employees from arbitrary, capricious repressions of protected rights.

However, at this time, when human rights violations continue to abound, the unilateral termination of DND of the said Accord with UP serves to cast further doubts on its intent and aggravates the climate of distrust towards the government.

The UP-DND Accord does not place UP beyond the reach of the rule of law. The University continues to exist as a subject of valid restrictions inasmuch as it is guaranteed freedoms. No one is and should ever be above the law.

DND should have appealed to good judgment in expressing concerns to UP and finding ways to move forward, instead of immediately abrogating the Accord, in pursuit of the best interest of all.

The DND, with whom UP entered into the subject agreement, is in charge of the Armed Forces, whose mandate is different from that of the PNP. The primary concern of DND is to secure the State from external and internal threats. Maintaining peace and order is within the ambit of the Philippine National Police.

Read complete statement @chr.gov.ph

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[Statement] on the slow prosecution of Fabel Pineda’s rape and murder case -CHR

#HumanRights #Justice

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the slow prosecution of Fabel Pineda’s rape and murder case

Six months have elapsed since the rape and alleged killing of 15-year old girl Fabel Pineda by police officers in Ilocos Sur, but justice remains elusive for her and her cousin Bernadette Saniatan despite the strong condemnation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the grave violation committed by their fellow men in uniform.

Contrary to the misleading news claiming that the implicated officers facing administrative charges were already relieved from their duties, only Police Staff Sergeant (PSSg) Randy V. Ramos was dismissed from service, while PSSg Marawi U. Torda was exonerated due to lack of sufficient evidence. Both suspects are on restrictive custody under the PNP Regional Office while their murder and attempted murder cases are still on trial.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) calls on the PNP and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the speedy resolution of the case and urges Philippine authorities to send an unequivocal message to law enforcement officials that abuse of power shall never be tolerated among their ranks.

Impunity for police abuse often leads to a deadly cycle of violence that needs utmost denunciation across the board. The case of Fabel and her cousin exposes the reality of women and girls who are allegedly raped or sexually abused by persons in authority or in police custody who often face threats of serious reprisals. All too often, they are silenced and threatened to withdraw any complaint against their perpetrators due to fear of retaliation. Such incidents are a clear betrayal of public trust by the same people who have sworn oaths to protect its citizens.

Through its independent investigation, the CHR Regional Office I has confirmed that there were indeed human rights violations committed by the police officers. For its part, the Commission shall closely monitor the cases filed before the DOJ against the two officers, and shall also ensure the provision of financial assistance to the families of Fabel and her cousin to aid them in pursuing the case.

The CHR hopes that the PNP remains faithful to its earlier commitment to swiftly deliver justice and carry out reforms within the institution to produce morally-upright and credible policemen who can genuinely maintain peace and order in the community.

Source: www.chr.gov.ph

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[Statement] on Victim-blaming and Gender Stereotyping Amid the Investigations in the Christine Dacera Case -CHR

#HumanRights #Women #LGBTQI+

Statement of Commissioner Karen S. Gomez-Dumpit, Focal Commissioner on Women and LGBTQI+ Issues, on Victim-blaming and Gender Stereotyping Amid the Investigations in the Christine Dacera Case

The Commission on Human Rights is deeply concerned and alarmed by the victim-blaming and gender stereotyping amid the investigations in the killing of Christine Dacera. These acts disrespect the victim and cause further anguish to her family. Similarly, the alleged perpetrators who are members of the LGBTQI+ community are negatively affected.

As the Gender Ombud, the Commission takes this occasion to reiterate that victim-blaming is unacceptable, especially in cases of gender-based violence. Instead of responding to the act of violence in this case, as well as addressing the root causes of the human rights violation, victim-blaming is a violation of a woman’s dignity and shifts the focus of the investigation on what the victim wore, the company she kept, and the places she went to. It trivializes the violence and demonizes the woman, as the blame cast on her creates the perception that “she had it coming,” making her unworthy of protection and remedies. It must be remembered that the crux of gender-based violence cases is the acts of violence committed by the perpetrator, and never the character of the woman. We must all strive to stop victim-blaming.

Undeniably, rape is a grave and serious human rights violation requiring an urgent and immediate response from the State. The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee requires no less than the exercise by State authorities of due diligence in responding to all cases of violence against women. In investigating and discussing circumstances surrounding an alleged case of rape, all forms of victim-blaming are unacceptable. We remind the public that victim-blaming and reliance on gender stereotypes impact access to justice. These ultimately deny women protection from violence.

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[Statement] on the announcement of the Justice Secretary regarding the release of the first partial report of the review of the deaths resulting from the conduct of anti illegal-drug operations -CHR

#HumanRights #StopTheKillingsPH

Statement of CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit on the announcement of the Justice Secretary regarding the release of the first partial report of the review of the deaths resulting from the conduct of anti illegal-drug operations

The Commission on Human Rights acknowledges the announcement of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra regarding the release of the partial report conducted by a high-level inter-agency panel of the thousands of deaths resulting from the conduct of recent anti-illegal drug operations.

We consider the government’s action as a step towards ensuring accountability and addressing impunity. However, we regret that the Commission on Human Rights was not involved in the review, contrary to the commitments and assurances made by the government during the 44th Session of the Human Rights Council. This is an unfulfilled promise to Filipinos and the entire community of nations.

The government then announced that “as with all human rights-related mechanisms in the country, the Commission on Human Rights would be involved in its capacity as an independent monitoring body” and would play an important role in the high-level inter-agency panel. The panel was likewise meant to “engage with affected families and provide them with legal options and assistance in the criminal prosecution of law enforcers who have overstepped legal bounds in their operations.” Read complete statement @ https://bit.ly/2XqUmuY

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[Statement] CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit on the sex jokes made during a televised national disaster briefing

#HumanRights #VAW Statement of CHR Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit on the sex jokes made during a televised national disaster briefing

Sex jokes and sexual objectification of women are VAW: Not to be tolerated nor excused

The Commission on Human Rights condemns the normalization and trivialization of sex jokes and sexual objectification of women. They are forms of violence against women (VAW) and should not be tolerated nor excused. Not when the country is reeling from a national emergency, not in November when we are observing the 18 days of activism against VAW, and especially not coming from high ranking government officials during an emergency response briefing. Sexist and misogynistic remarks are never right and should never be tolerated, especially as we are a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and we have laws that oblige the government to prevent all forms of violence (The Magna Carta of Women), and a law that penalizes sexist and misogynistic remarks/slurs (Safe Spaces Law).

As Gender Ombud, the Commission once again reminds the President and other high ranking officials present during the briefing that the State is not only obliged to protect women from discrimination and violence, it is also obliged to ensure that officials do not perpetuate such violence. It is obligated to ensure accountability. Dismissal of remarks that make light of women’s sexual objectification and which justify the same as a ‘means of coping’ with stress send the message that sexism in government is normal and that government take the issues of women and girls lightly. This is inconsistent with our human rights obligations.

At a time when many women and girls are severely affected by the recent typhoon Ulysses, when many are vulnerable and at risk of violence due to displacement, when many are faced with the multiple burden of rebuilding houses and lives post-disaster, the President’s jokes and side remarks come as a clear affront. We remind the President that during the height of the typhoon a girl child was raped and was later found half naked, bleeding and unconscious on a vacant lot in Paluig, Zambales; a woman gave birth in an evacuation center; and many women and girls had to deal with the impact of the disaster—often left to source water, food, and care for children, the ill and the elderly. Rather than the sexual objectification of women – seeing women’s only function is to serve men’s sexual pleasures—what should have been made visible in the briefing is the need for immediate and mainstreamed gendered responses and addressing the importance of protecting women and girls during and post disaster.

As Gender Ombud, we cannot let pass these sex jokes and sexist remarks without exercising our constitutional mandate to advise government in the fulfillment of its obligations. We remind the President and other high ranking officials of their obligation not to perpetuate nor tolerate violence against women. We remind them that as officials, instead of making jokes at the expense of women during a government briefing, they have to respond immediately to the gendered and intersectional needs of women facing multiple disasters. They have to send the message that they respect women’s human rights, including freedom from discrimination, in their disaster response. They have to have zero-tolerance for violence and should not be perpetuators themselves.

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[Off-the-shelf] Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines -CHR

Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in the Philippines

JULY, 2020

“Human rights defender (HRD) is a term used to describe people who, individually or with others, act to promote or protect human rights.”1 HRDs include all those who “seek the promotion and protection of civil and political rights as well as the promotion, protection and realization of economic, social and cultural rights.”

The Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,3 in characterizing HRDs, refer to all “individuals, groups and associations… contributing to… the effective elimination of all violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of peoples and individuals.”

Proposed domestic legislation defines HRDs in a similar manner, further expanding it to state that the “main or substantial work and advocacy [of HRDs] is to promote the respect for, foster knowledge of, and protect any forms of human rights and freedoms”5 at the “local, national, regional, and international levels.”

There are thus no specific guidelines that identify who HRDs are, rather, they are defined by the work that they do. HRDs engage in duties, whether for profit or pro bono, that aim to, among others, investigate and report on violations of human rights; provide support to ensure the fulfillment of international treaty obligations; lobby for legislative or judicial reforms; mobilize and shape public opinion on human rights; or secure accountability for human rights violations. HRDs include members of civic organizations, journalists, lawyers, representatives of marginalized sectors, members of the academe, government officials, and all others who engage in activities for the fulfillment of basic human rights.

Due to the nature of their work, HRDs worldwide are frequent victims of human rights violations themselves. Many are subjected to extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, threats, harassment, and restrictions on their freedoms of expression, association and assembly.7 In the Philippines, there are similar allegations that HRDs are targeted and subjected to abuses, particularly by government agents.

This Inquiry was launched by the Commission on Human Rights (Commission) to ascertain the current situation impacting the work, safety, and security of HRDs in the country. The decision to launch this Inquiry was prompted by letters received from individuals and organizations containing allegations of human rights violations attributed to State officials.8 The Commission also took cognizance of reports coming out in various media concerning attacks against the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of certain groups and individuals and those who defend them. These allegations were similarly echoed in complaints received by the Commission’s regional offices.

Click the link for the complete report “CHRP-2020-Report-on-the-Situation-of-Human-Rights-Defenders

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[Statement] on the arrest of 8 protesters in UP Cebu due to alleged violation of quarantine rules -CHR

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the arrest of 8 protesters in UP Cebu due to alleged violation of quarantine rules

Eight UP students and alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu were arrested last 5 June 2020 due to alleged violation of the government’s ban on mass gatherings for holding a protest rally against the Anti-Terrorism Bill in front of the university entrance.

Despite their release, the Commission on Human Rights reiterates our stern reminder that the health crisis does not halt fundamental rights including freedom of peaceful assembly and activism. While protecting health and safety are paramount in this time of the pandemic, there cannot be a blanket restriction on basic rights and freedoms. Carte blanche application of quarantine restrictions may gravely disadvantage the citizens’ rights while providing broad powers to the State thereby resulting to huge disparity and imbalance tantamount to negating any semblance of democracy.

In accordance with international law as well as domestic laws, restrictions on rights must adhere and be assessed based on the principles of legality, necessity, and proportionality to ensure balance in protecting public health while respecting human rights. The UP-DND (Department of National Defense) Peace Accord must also be put in consideration in this context. Up until today, this agreement serves as a safeguard to ensure that schools remain as safe spaces for intellectual discussions and tackling of social issues and concerns without fear of reprisal or retaliation, which are necessary for a thriving academic environment.

We equally express concern on the unnecessary show of force considering the alleged manner of handling of the peaceful protesters by security forces in full battle gear and heavy firearms. While enforcing the law is the mandate of the police, standing agreements should be observed so appropriate and proportionate measures are applied in coordination with the university administrators. Any alleged violation should be dealt with utmost proportionality, respectful of human dignity, and with due accord to civil and political liberties. However, we equally remind all citizens of their obligation to observe and comply with health and physical distancing protocols in the exercise of their rights to ensure that it does not impinge on the rights of others.

Basic rights that enable citizens to seek redress for grievances, to contest policies, and to express their opinions are equally crucial in a state of emergency towards a collaborative perspective in addressing the current social, economic, and political uncertainties that beset our society. Continuous free flow of ideas and engagement between the people and the government remains essential in crucial times like these. While protection of public health must be guaranteed by the State, the holistic needs and rights of the citizens should also be taken into account towards upholding the dignity of all.

CHR shall continue with its motu proprio investigation on the said case.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/commission-on-human-rights-of-the-philippines/statement-of-chr-spokesperson-on-the-arrest-of-8-protesters-in-up-cebu-due-to-al/2873215162795010/

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[Off-the-shelf] Narito ang mga dapat mong gawin kung nagkaroon ng paglabag ng karapatang pantao sa panahon ng COVID-19 -CHR

[HR101] Narito ang mga dapat mong gawin kung nagkaroon ng paglabag ng karapatang pantao sa panahon ng COVID-19:

Please click the link fo more:

 

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[Statement] CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the rising number of Covid-19 infected health workers

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the rising number of Covid-19 infected health workers

The Commission on Human Rights notes with concern the rising number of healthcare workers being infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Recently, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that a total of 62 health workers from the National Center for Mental Health were infected with the virus—this number still does not count the 13 are psychiatric patients sick with the virus, which further complicates their conditions.

As of 22 April 2020, DOH also reports that, out of the 1,062 healthcare workers currently infected nationwide, 422 are physicians; 386 are nurses; 30 are medical technologists; 21 are radiological technologists, 51 are nursing assistants, and the rest, 152, are administrative staff and barangay health workers. To date, 26 healthcare workers have already died.

The World Health Organisation sees these figures ‘worrisome’ as health workers cover 15% of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines compared to the 2-3% for the Western Pacific region.

Amidst a national health emergency, medical workers are fighting a two-front battle—dealing with an increasing number of COVID-19 patients, while also facing the shortage of PPEs meant to prevent themselves from being infected, as well as infecting others.

Since the start of the pandemic, prices of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks and gowns, have seen an almost two-fold increase in price. Some individuals have resorted to hoarding much-needed medical supplies. Shortages ultimately leave doctors and nurses exposed and ill-equipped to care for patients.

In light of the shortage of PPE, the Commission welcomes the Administrative Order No. 07-2020 from the Bureau of Customs, which aims to expedite the customs clearance of tax and duty-exempt importations of PPEs and other medical goods urgently needed by our citizens, frontliners, and medical supplies manufacturers in this public health emergency. This initiative, together with the recent acquisition by the DOH of one million PPEs, should help hospitals to access the much-needed supplies.

The Commission equally commends DOH for its partnership with the Confederation of Wearable Exporters of the Philippines and its research on other innovative ways to decontaminate PPE for safe reuse in the midst of the ongoing worldwide shortage.

However, the recent announcement of the infection of 43 health workers at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and the subsequent scaling down of COVID-19 specimen testing due increase of sick personnel is a huge blow to the efforts of the government to ascertain the number of COVID-19 positive individuals.

It is then recommended that DOH reviews its policy to decentralize and ensure that more labs are accredited or made capable of conducting real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT PRC) tests. It is also imperative to ensure the efficient transportation of medical equipment and other lifesaving saving devices through sustained coordination with hospitals and local governments. The procurement of PPE must also remain transparent and in full compliance with government procurement standards.

In the end, our health workers are our best shot in putting an end to the pandemic. We honor them for their sacrifices, but adequate resources and care, such as ample rest and support for their mental health, should also be assured by the government and other authorities.

The Commission, in these trying times, sends its condolences to family members, friends, and medical professionals who have lost loved ones and friends due to COVID-19. And in curbing COVID-19, we truly hope that no one will be left behind.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/commission-on-human-rights-of-the-philippines/statement-of-chr-spokesperson-atty-jacqueline-ann-de-guia-on-the-rising-number-o/2759088677540993/

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[Statement] CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the incident involving a cop shooting an alleged lockdown violator in Barangay Pasong Putik, Quezon City

Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the incident involving a cop shooting an alleged lockdown violator in Barangay Pasong Putik, Quezon City

Strict measures, such as community lockdowns, were set during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to protect our right to health and, ultimately, save lives. It is most alarming when these measures trigger allegations of human rights violations and, worse, result in any loss of lives.

On Tuesday, 21 April 2020, a certain Winston Ragos was gunned down by Police Master Sergeant Daniel Florendo Jr near a quarantine checkpoint along Maligaya Drive in Barangay Pasong Putik, Quezon City.

Ragos was later identified as a former soldier who served heroically in Marawi and was said to be suffering from a mental condition because of fulfilling his duty.

We note that the leadership of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) has already ordered a ‘criminal and administrative investigation’ of the incident and, in a statement, said that what Florendo did was a ‘judgment call.’

However, there are different accounts of what transpired, including clashing narratives on whether the victim had a pistol in his sling bag, which the police claims as a sign of imminent danger, thus resulting in the shooting.

The Commission on Human Rights is already investigating this matter.

We stress since the start of the implementation of quarantines and lockdowns that law enforcers must always remain respectful of human rights, even in the face of a national health emergency. We recognise that law enforcement officials are important in the protection of life, liberty, property, and the security of person—guaranteed rights as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in our 1987 Constitution. But there are also guidelines set on the use of force that law enforcers must strictly observe.

The Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, as adopted by the UN Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, remind that: ‘Law enforcement officials, in carrying out their duty, shall, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force and firearms.’
Under the same principles, it was outlined that if the use of force and firearms is unavoidable, then authorities must practice restraint and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offense, mindful of minimizing damage and injury and with respect to the preservation of human life.

The same discussions are found in the Philippine National Police Operational Procedures when it prohibited the excessive use of force during police operations. And if merited, reminds police officers, that ‘only such necessary and reasonable force should be applied as would be sufficient to overcome the resistance put up by the offender; subdue the clear and imminent danger posed by him; or to justify the force/act under the principles of self- defense, defense of relative, or defense of stranger.’

At this point, we look forward to QCPD’s fair and impartial investigations. And similar to cases of alleged ’self-defense’ when confronted with imminent danger, we also reiterate our call to allow the rule of law to prevail and let the scrutiny of the proper courts weigh in on the question if the circumstances are justifiable to warrant the shooting, which eventually resulted to death.

https://www.facebook.com/notes/commission-on-human-rights-of-the-philippines/statement-of-chr-spokesperson-on-the-incident-involving-a-cop-shooting-an-allege/2758912674225260/

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[Statement] of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on recent COVID-19 measures that impact the right to privacy and free choice of employment

Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on recent COVID-19 measures that impact the right to privacy and free choice of employment

At this stage of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID) pandemic, we are seeing the steady growth of confirmed cases, the increasing number of deaths, and the growing challenges that beset our public health system. In this context, we recognize the urgency of implementing restrictive measures to address the gravity of the situation.

However, as we have previously stressed, protecting public health entails protection of other rights as well, which are equally essential to the genuine fulfilment of the highest standard of the right to health. There are clear guidelines in ensuring balance in protecting public health while respecting human rights based on international law as well as domestic laws. Under the Siracusa Principles—a guide to government response for reasons of public health or emergency—the measures must be proportionate to the attainment of clear objectives, least intrusive and restrictive available, respectful of human dignity, among others.

Two recent pronouncements of the government—disclosure of personal information of COVID-19 cases to enhance contract tracing efforts and deployment ban of overseas healthcare workers to address shortage of healthcare personnel—are susceptible to overreach in terms of guaranteeing the right to privacy and freedom to choose gainful employment respectively.

On the disclosure of personal information, while the government clarified that this shall be done in accordance with the Data Privacy Act, clear parameters must be outlined to ensure that it will not overstep the right to privacy. We recognize the importance of contract tracing to contain the virus, but it must be done with utmost care for privacy and confidentiality.

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Statement of CHR Spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on recent COVID-19 measures that impact the right to privacy and free choice of employment

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WATCH Now! Live Stream – Nandito Kami! CoViD19 PH: Commission on #HumanRights and Civil Society Organization response

Nandito Kami! CoViD19 PH: Commission on #HumanRights and Civil Society Organization response

Kasama Sina:
Karen Gomez Dumpit
Commissioner,
Commission on Human Rights

Atty. Jacqueline Anne De Guia
Executive Director,
Commission on Human Rights

Jaybee Garganera
Alyansa Tigil Mina
Steering Committee Member, iDEFEND

Tagapagpadaloy:
Rose Trajano
Secretary General
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates

————————————————————–
COVID-19 Human Rights Violation Reporting
https://idefend.ph/covid19-hrv-reporting

Websites

iDEFEND
https://idefend.ph/

PAHRA
https://philippinehumanrights.org/

Social Media

iDEFEND
https://www.facebook.com/iDEFENDofficial

PAHRA
https://facebook.com/philippinehumanrights.org

iDEFEND

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
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[Statement] PAHRA to the 5th Commission on Human Rights: have a firm grasp and sharp analysis of the human rights situation of the country

PAHRA to the 5th Commission on Human Rights: have a firm grasp and sharp analysis of the human rights situation of the country
June 19, 2015

This will serve as solid bases for the 5th CHR to map out your plan for the whole of your term as well as for your annual planning. There will always be a need for flexibility for unexpected incidents of human rights concerns that demand immediate responses.

pahra logo copy

This first challenge includes a comprehensive assessment of what has been done by the 4th Commission and learn from lessons both positive and negative. Such action would be a precedent that should be made a tradition along with other duty-bearers reporting to their claimholders.

Broad, participative and transparent consultations are key to obtain to true and reliable information and data.

REVIEW AND STRENGTHEN OUR NHRI’S STRUCTURES, BOTH ON THE NATIONAL AND REGIONAL LEVELS FOR MORE APPROPRIATE, TIMELY AND EFFECTIVE RESPONSES TO SITUATIONS OF HR CONCERNS.

This is to finally overcome “bureaucratic inertia”, as well as eradicate the culture of patronage and retribution now embedded within the relationships between officers and the rank and file, and even between regular and co-terminus employees.

As 5th Commission you are inheriting an institutional legacy of the 4th Commission marked with a relatively widespread demoralization and discontent among personnel brought about by the unprecedented protest of more than a hundred officers and staff against a promotion of a person with questionable eligibility and done with “indecent haste”.

As the new Commission you have to resolve the issue of the Executive Director and his consequent actions objectively and with fairness to all. Doing so otherwise may affect the integrity and credibility of both the 5th Commission and the CHRP as institution.

There is need to revitalize the prime institution of human rights with appropriately-capacitated and committed personnel adhering above all to accepted HR principles and standards. Promotion should be based on merit and dedication to the promotion and protection of human rights.

INSTITUTIONALIZE CHRP-CSO RELATIONSHIP

After a presentation of the CHR’s Road Map in 2010 which included civil society human rights defenders participation in the NHRI’s planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, a tenet in the Paris Principles, i.e., Section (g), that deal with the importance of national institutions establishing and maintaining close relations with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Non- Government Organizations

(NGOs) working in the field of human rights, the Media and Civil Society Relations Office (MCSRO) directly under the Office of the Chairperson was established. For the whole term of the 4th Commission it was non-functional. The office and the intent withered away.

There is urgent need to institutionalize CHR-CSO relationship so as to converge personnel, capabilities, resources and efforts to break through impunity and advance human rights. Furthermore, the deputization or deputation of CSO-HRDs is long awaiting final approval.

The ARMM Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) has moved ahead when it institutionalize its relationship with the Bangsamoro civil society human rights defenders. The newly formed NHRI of Mongolia has in its brochure its own institutionalized structure with their civil society.

The Commissioners of the 5th Commission will find all the ingredients at their disposal not only to catch up if used judiciously, but also to move ahead.

CONDUCT A THOROUGH AND SUSTAINED MONITORING OF STATE COMPLIANCE OF ITS OBLIGATIONS TO ENABLE TIMELY INTERVENTIONS.

A broadening participative process is being presently achieved in making both joint (government, CHR, CSOs) and independent or alternative Universal Periodic Review reports and even in the submitted reports to the eight international human rights treaties to which the Philippines is a State Party.

The 5th Commission need to monitor priority human rights issues or situations which have long been the environ for the culture of impunity. The land issue is one. Many extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture ensued from land conflicts. The CHR had no thorough and sustained monitoring of the obligations of the State in fulfilling the land rights of thousands of peasants as contained in CARP and later in CARPER.

A thorough and sustained monitoring with timely intervention in highly volatile areas where extractive industries intrude into indigenous peoples’ ancestral lands and domains could prevent impunity. People or community rights-based monitoring mechanisms can be jointly set up by CHR, CSOs and local government units together with the security forces. These local monitoring mechanisms (LMMs) can supplement one of the main tasks of an NHRI.

PAHRA as claimholders are only too willing to converge their commitment to dignity and human rights with that of the members of the 5th Commission and of the NHRI’s officers and staff to end impunity and advance a culture of human rights.
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA)
53-B Maliksi St. Bgy. Pinyahan
Quezon City, Philippines (1100)
Tel/fax (632) 436-26-33
Mobile : 0906-553-1792
E-mail: pahra@philippinehumanrights.org
Fb account: philippinehumanrights
Website: http://www.philippinehumanrights.org
Twitter : @PAHRAhr
Skype : pahra1986

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[People] CHR’s Personnel Arising Against “Midnight” Appointment of Executive Director by Commissioners Rosales, Cardona and Dela Cruz -by Max De Mesa

Commission on Human Rights’ Personnel Arising Against “Midnight” Appointment of Executive Director by Commissioners Rosales, Cardona and Dela Cruz
April 25, 2015

The arising of more than 100 personnel to register their strong protest against an appointment to the institution’s adjudged as done in “indecent haste” augers well for a renewal of good governance in our Commission on Human Rights (CHR). It is indeed a welcome refreshing wind of unprecedented change to demand from the CHR Commissioners its rights-based obligations as duty bearers in governance, i.e., participation, transparency and accountability. It vindicates quiet deep sensitivity for fairness of the many hard-working and faithful personnel in the CHR.

The first-of-its-kind petition forged and signed by CHR Directors, Officers-in-Charge (OICs) and rank-and-file employees from the national and regional offices disputes the eligibility and procedures assented to and conducted by Chairperson Etta Rosales, Commissioners Ma.Victoria Cardona and Norberto dela Cruz to appoint Atty. Marc Titus B. Cebreros as CHR Executive Director (ED). Commissioner Jose Manuel Mamauag dissented and preferred to leave the appointing of the ED, out of delicadeza, to the next Commission. The petition has been submitted to the currently sitting en banc Commission.

The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) strongly decry this “midnight” appointment last April 13, 2015 while the Commission term ends on May 5, 2015. It deliberately sets aside the rules of promotion stated in the provisions of the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and in the CHR’s own all-personnel-approved Merit Selection Plan (MSP). After studying judiciously the data and documents related to the said appointment, PAHRA stands in solidarity with the findings and protest petition of the CHR personnel.

Furthermore, PAHRA demands the immediate removal of Chairperson Etta Rosales, Commissioners Ma. Victoria Cardona and Norberto dela Cruz for grave abuse of discretion.

The three CHR officials have tailor-fitted requirements and procedures for one who seems to be a pre-favored candidate for ED, Atty. Cebreros.

A janitress applicant required to undergo a neuro-psychological examination to clean the Chairperson’s office, but examinations needed for eligibility as ED, the top career position in the Commission to oversee the work and operations of the national office and 13 regional offices, are all set aside. The Civil Service Commission (CSC) advised that it should take at least a month to screen applicants/candidates for managerial positions but the vetting process were manipulatedly short-cutted by the 3 CHR officials to fast-track in four (4) working days said process of appointment.

What alarms PAHRA the most, if not acted upon by the appropriate authorities, is that this grave abuse of discretion may become a justifiable precedent action and a new acceptable standard for Commissioners and personnel of CHR. Much less should it be implanted and perpetuated in the institution.

Whether this grave abuse of discretion has been done near the end or at any period of any Commissioner’s term, it merits the same disciplinary action. It goes against the common Paris Principles for NHRIs in the areas of transparency, accountability and rule of law.

This is unacceptable. This should stop now.

No to “midnight” appointment. Stop grave abuse of discretion.
Justice and dignity for us all,
Max M. de Mesa
Chairperson, PAHRA

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[In the news] ‘Soldiers shot botanist, companions after thinking they were communist rebels’ -InterAksyon.com

‘Soldiers shot botanist, companions after thinking they were communist rebels’
By Abigail C. Kwok, InterAksyon.com
December 18, 2012

InterAksyon logo2The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said soldiers mistook botanist Leonard Co and his companions as communist rebels when they fired at Co’s group two years ago in Kananga, Leyte.

Although the Army operation was was “legitimate,” the supposed encounter was not, CHR chairperson Etta Rosales said in a phone interview.

“There was no legitimate encounter because the military failed to see the difference between the combatants and non-combatants. These were civilians and soldiers mistook them to be combatants. They shot at these people. That is a violation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL),” Rosales said.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

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[From the web] The right to live a life of human dignity (CHR on RH Bill) – www.chr.gov.ph

13 May 2011
THE RIGHT TO LIVE A LIFE OF HUMAN DIGNITY

Good afternoon.

The past few weeks made us witnesses to impassioned debates surrounding the Reproductive Health Bill, with one side of the bench labeling itself as pro-choice and the other, pro-life. Controversial social legislations such as this generate heated public attention and for good reason – it opens up a democratic space for the public to participate in the creative process of legislation. Unfortunately, the cacophony of opposing positions and disparate opinions seems to have drowned out focus on what the issue is really about: THE RIGHT TO LIVE A LIFE OF HUMAN DIGNITY.

More than morality and anti-poverty, Reproductive Health is foremost about Human Rights. Reproductive Health is about the right of every person – regardless of sex, gender, age, social status, political or religious conviction – to the highest attainable standard of health. It is about the right of the woman to know how to take care of herself, take full control of her body and make life-changing decisions. It is about the right of everyone to information and the right to an informed choice on whether or not one wants to bring a new life into the world. It is about the right of the woman, the man and the child to live a life free from threats of diseases, hunger and want. It other words, Reproductive Health is about every single person having a shot at a life worthy of a human being. All these are human rights which the government of the Philippines is obligated to respect, protect, fulfill and promote under our Constitution and the various international treaties we signed and ratified.

The Commission on Human Rights, as the Gender Ombud under R.A. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women, shall issue a comprehensive advisory on Reproductive Health in the next few days. In the meantime, may we enjoin the public to be guided by reason and not be overwhelmed by inordinate passion. After all, we are actually on the same side when we say that we are anti-abortion, anti-corruption, anti-poverty, pro-life and pro-choice.

LORETTA ANN P. ROSALES
Chairperson
Commission on Human Rights

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