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CHR to probe killing of criminal suspect

Graphic: CHR Chairperson addresses the media

The CHR has emphasised its commitment to investigate human rights violations against any individual, including suspected criminals.

The Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has emphasised the organisation's commitment to investigate human rights violations against any individual, including suspected criminals, the Philippine Star reported.

CHR Chairperson Jose Luis Martin 'Chito' Gascon said the Philippines national human rights institution is an independent body established under the 1987 Constitution.

Article 13 of the Constitution sets out the CHR's composition and functions, he said, which include the investigation of all forms of human rights violations, involving civil and political rights.

The CHR has received criticism in recent months for its statement against anti-crime operations by police that resulted in the death of a number of suspected criminals.

It was has also been criticised by president-elect Rodrigo Duterte, whom the CHR found guilty of violating the Magna Carta of Women for controversial comments made during the election campaign.

Last week, the CHR started its investigation on the shooting of Alfie Turado, a suspect in a rape case who was shot dead while in police custody after he allegedly tried to grab the gun of a police officer.

Gascon maintained that the CHR supported the efforts of the government and law enforcement agencies to stop crime. However, he said this should be done in compliance with the law.

CHR Chairperson 'Chito' Gascon

"If the leadership speaks the language of human rights, then it will cascade to the personnel and ultimately we will see more respect for human rights," Chito Gascon told Rappler website on 19 June 2016. "But if the leadership disregards it, then we might see an undermining of these efforts."

The CHR also released a statement on 17 June 2016 in which it expressed support for the government to "apply the full force of the law" against Abu Sayyaf members who beheaded two Canadian hostages.

"The CHR condemns these killings and other terrorist acts of the [Abu Sayyaf] in the strongest possible terms and reiterates that kidnapping, illegal detention and murder are grave violations of a human's right to life, liberty and security and should not be tolerated in a just, humane and democratic country like ours."

Date: 21 June 2016

Image credits

  1. CHR Chairperson addresses the media - Facebook
  2. CHR Chairperson 'Chito' Gascon - Facebook