Rape, murder, extrajudicial killings (EJK), violation of R.A. No. 9262 or the “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004”, and grave coercion are among the abuses recorded by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) V since last year.
There are also a number of cases involving the State security sector and barangay officials wherein women and children are the victims of abuse.
According to Atty. Arlene Alangco, Regional Director of CHR Region V, their office conducts investigation on reported cases and refers them to the concern agencies/offices for appropriate action. Also, as part of their advocacy to promote awareness on special laws for the protection of women, children and the marginalized sectors, they conduct visitations on detention facilities and has projects that includes Women’s Month, National Correctional Consciousness Week, and Children’s Month.
The Philippine National Police in Bicol also supports these programs and in coordination with the the Commission on Human Rights, conducts seminars and workshops to raise human rights awareness among their personnel.
PMAJ, Rene Bea, Chief of the Human Rights Affairs Office, explained:
“During the conduct of human rights training, nagko-collaborate kami with CHR. Sila magpo provide ng lecturer at meron din sa amin. Nagkakaroon din po kami ng community-based dialogue, and lastly, case monitoring,”
However, when asked, he denied the existence of extrajudicial killings (EJK) despite a reported number of them in the list of the CHR. He said:
“Kagaya ng nasa taas namin, the PNP strongly maintains that there is no extrajudicial killing,”
He assured the public that policemen are protectors of human rights and whoever commits a human rights violation among their rank will face criminal and administrative liability.
He added, “Kagaya ng ginagawa namin, yung education and training ng personnel namin at the same time, meron kaming internal cleansing policy, so the more na na-educate natin ang mga tao natin, the more na malalaman nila ang consequences, ito na ang deterrence na mag-commit sila ng human rights violations,”
In a message to those PNP personnel involved in human rights violations, he has this to say: “Sinasabi ko nga sa ating mga kapulisan natin, tayo ang protector ng human rights; the moment na nagkomiter tayo ng krimen o human rights violation, we become criminals like criminals, so wala tayong poder na manatili pa sa PNP”. I Aaron John Baluis