While the appointment of National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Police Major Gen. Debold Sinas as the new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) generated mostly negative reactions from the citizenry, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is hopeful that there will indeed be a “turn of a new phase” in the country’s law enforcement agency.
“CHR hopes that, under the new leadership, the PNP will affirm the government’s commitments to uphold justice and human rights by pursuing every case of human rights violation,” CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said in a statement.
The CHR stressed that law enforcers are responsible for holding perpetrators accountable for their offenses. But in the performance of their duties, De Guia said that cops must never forget their motto to “serve and protect” the people, and uphold the values of service, honor, and justice.
They must also be good examples of the rule of law, most especially in communities where the voiceless, disadvantaged, and marginalized people need the help of the government the most to deliver a true sense of justice and dignity.
The CHR hopes that under the new leadership of Sinas, there will be “concrete actions” and “genuine cooperation” in investigating human rights violations. De Guia said that this is particularly important “even in cases when State officers and agents are allegedly implicated in their commission.”
When the police themselves are the perpetrators of human rights violations, De Guia said the PNP must take the initiative to clean up its ranks.
“At the turn of a new phase for the PNP, we remain steadfast in extending the hand of partnership so that, together, concrete and credible actions may be laid down in the interest of upholding the human rights of all,” she said.