The Commission On Human Rights Is NOT Mandated To Defend Criminals From Justice

While I’ve changed my stance about abolishing the Commission on Human Rights but it doesn’t mean I support its incumbent chairman Chito Gascon or his predecessors. So where in the mandate of CHR’s existence is it that it should defend criminals? None! Because if you read Law Phil Project — you will find that there’s NO mandate for CHR to defend criminals from justice:
  • 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.
CHR’s real mandate is to protect the human rights of everyone within the Philippines’ territory — not just those attacked by soldiers and military! Sure, it’s the policemen’s responsibility to arrest any criminal (and that includes abusive policemen and soldiers) while CHR takes care of the right of the victims. But instead — Gascon can be seen protecting the criminals instead of the victims of criminals which is just wrong. After all, CHR’s first mandate is to investigate on its own or on complaint all forms of human rights violation whether civil or political — this includes victims of crime! 
Gascon and his fellow Dilawans inside CHR need to be fired from their position. CHR should get its budget but it needs a good chairman. I even think that it’s a mistake that Harry Roque plans to run for senator instead of getting appointed to replace Gascon. Roque himself would make a good CHR chairperson in the place of Gascon. The real issue is that if Gascon wants work then he shouldn’t be at CHR. CHR is still part of the check and balance process together with taking care of human rights victims. The problem as said are people like Gascon. If they want work then why don’t they work for the criminals?

Besides, if Gascon wants work then CHR or any government agency is not the place for him. He should resign and be Antonio Trillanes IV’s court lawyer or the lawyer of criminals. He should get employed by crime syndicates instead of the Philippine government. If he wants to defend criminals then he should be their lawyer — not the chairman of CHR!  

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