It’s really something to consider that maybe those who claim to defend the Commission on Human Rights or CHR aren’t actually defending it. It can be observed not everyone who berates Chito Gascon’s lack of performance is in favor of getting rid of said government agency. Now it’s time for some common sense to what CHR really is and what its purpose really is all about. As said, you want to know what caused CHR to deteriorate? It’s the likes of Leila De Lima, Etta Rosales and Gascon that have caused CHR to become useless — not the existence of said organization!
What’s the real functions of the CHR? Here’s what the Law Phil Project says about CHR’s functions and let’s see how many of these did De Lima, Rosales and Gascon bother to do properly:
- Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights;
- Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite for contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court;
- Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the under-privileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection;
- Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities;
- Establish a continuing program of research, education, and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights;
- Recommend to Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families;
- Monitor the Philippine Government’s compliance with international treaty obligations on human rights;
- Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority;
- Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions;
- Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and
- Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law.