The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) reminded the government of its primary duty of protecting human life and ensuring that each person has a life of quality and dignity.
CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline de Guia said that every human being’s life has inherent worth and potential, and people, particularly those in the government, have a moral duty to stand up in defense of human life.
There has been a steady rise of violations against the sanctity of life, from vigilante killings, “nanlaban” killings that do not make it to court, red-tagging incidents that endanger the lives of victims, terrorism, and the promotion of death as a solution to social maladies by those in authority.
“We remind the government to reaffirm its utmost duty to protect life through concrete actions that will translate to reduction of killings and violence on the ground,” said De Guia.
“All allegations of arbitrary killings must be investigated and perpetrators should be brought to justice to demonstrate seriousness in stopping killings. The public also has the duty to remain vigilant and demand for justice and accountability in every instance of arbitrary violation of life,” she added.
As the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis, the CHR is urging the government to ensure equal access to health services and all other essential public services, particularly to those who need it the most.
In doing so, the CHR said the government is ensuring that everyone is equally protected from health risks and the inevitable socio-economic impact of the pandemic.
“Life anchors the realization of other rights. The sanctity of life is also equally upheld with the realization of fundamental rights that ensure a life of dignity and equal opportunity,” said De Guia.
She urged all Filipinos to unite in calling for a stop to the killings. “Due process and rule of law need to prevail to prevent further loss of lives. If impunity continues, each Filipino is only as safe as the most vulnerable among us,” she said.