TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police topped the names of human rights violators in the Eastern Visayas region, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said in a report given to Rappler last Tuesday, August 1.
CHR – Regional Office 8 said the Philippine National Police had 33 human rights cases – some 47% – filed at the CHR office covering the period of January to December 2016, with an increase of 7 cases from year 2015. 25 human rights cases, or 41.66% of the cases, were lodged at the CHR office here in the city.
Attorney Desiree Pontejos, CHR regional Director, told Rappler the alleged abuses by police are the most significant human rights problem in Eastern Visayas.
These concerns were raised by civil society over the failure of the government to hold accountable those responsible for committing human rights violations. Pontejos added it seemed the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office was not as effective compared to the Philippine Army’s, as the army only had one case – equivalent to 1.43% of the cases – filed for the year 2016.
In 2010, during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the PNP and the Philippine Army put a Human Rights Affairs Office in their respective offices and field offices to ensure the members of the police and armed forces were being monitored when it came to the implementation of the rules of engagement. The Human Rights Affairs Offices went through an information campaign to inform the police and miltiary of human rights laws.
The CHR report also said aside from the police, civilians and unidentified assailants each had 15.71% of the total number of cases filed – or 11 human rights cases each. – Rappler.com