CHR boosts human rights awareness of law enforcers

Nov. 10, 2008

General Santos City — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) prodded the police to be cautious in performing their obligation lest they infringe the international law on human rights.

CHR Socsksagen chief investigator Marie Joy Bravo said that “because the promotion of human rights is an important national interest, the Philippine National Police (PNP) should seek to be accountable to their obligations under universal human rights norms and international human rights instruments.”

She also said police is duty bound to promote greater respect for human rights, including freedom from torture, freedom of expression, press freedom, women and children’s rights, and the protection of minorities; and of course promote the rule of law, seek accountability, and change cultures of impunity.

In support of the month-long celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Police Regional Office launched a Distinguished Visitor’s Program, a special campaign to uphold human rights at all times which were attended by police personnel in the region.

In a message, Bravo urged police to help people to also learn more about their human rights and to better understand the relevance of the Universal Declaration to their lives today.

She also enjoined policemen to create their own public information campaigns for a wide-audience reach.

As manifestation of support, Socsksargen police developed special campaign logos, fact sheets, and posters to give communities and organizations the inspiration and tools to get their campaigns started.

Bravo also emphasized on the theory and practice of universal value of “freedom with sense of responsibility” and other democratic tenets and how those should be practiced and observed in the society.

Police regional office spokesperson PSSupt. Danny L. Reyes stressed that “the PNP understands that the existence of human rights helps secure peace, deters aggression, promotes the rule of law, combats crime and corruption, strengthens democracies, and prevents humanitarian crises.”

The activity, according to him came most timely at the helm of the present conflict situation in Central Mindanao where government authorities particularly the police and the military are often accused of violating human rights of civilians and even the enemies during combat operations.

“This will ensure that the values of freedom, democracy and justice are not lost and are consciously and systematically inculcated as well as to ensure that the nation’s complicated justice system that the PNP is duty bound to implement is fully understood,” Reyes added. (PIA SarGen/PRO 12)

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