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​Rights must be respected during 'state of lawless violence'

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The Commission on Human Rights said it would monitor the implementation of the government’s declaration of “state of lawless violence”.

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said it would monitor the implementation of the government's declaration of "state of lawless violence", the Philippine Star reported.

"In times of crisis or terrorist attack, the executive authorities are given some latitude to restore law and order in order to ensure the safety of civilians and to protect their enjoyment of rights," CHR Chairperson Jose Luis Martin 'Chito' Gascon said.

"Nonetheless, the Constitution establishes mechanisms in order to prevent any abuse that may occur in pursuing these goals. These include resort to courts and the ability of Congress to deliberate upon the exercise of powers. The constitutional bodies will monitor," he told the Philippine Star.

Gascon called on law enforcement officials to bear in mind that the rights of citizens are not suspended and must be respected in the pursuit of their objectives.

President Duterte declared a nationwidestate of lawless violence following a deadly blastin Davao City on 2 September 2016.

Section 18, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution allows the President, as commander-in-chief, to "call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion."

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the declaration does not involve invasion or rebellion, hence no declaration of martial law or a suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was made.

Amnesty International called on the government to uphold human rights as it responds to the deadly attack.

Date: 4 September 2016

Source: Philippine Star

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