Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon said the role and functions of the commission are just like those of a “referee” in a basketball game.
“Ang ginagawa lang naman ng referee ay: ‘Oy foul ‘yan. Over the bounds na kayo. So ‘yun lang po, ‘yung tungkulin namin. At huwag po sanang ipilit ipasok ang referee sa laban. Kasi mali ‘yun, (What the referee does is to say: That’s foul. You are over bounds. That’s our mandate. And, please, don’t include the referee in the match. It is wrong),” Gascon said.
Pointing out specifics, Gascon said the CHR utilizes the International Humanitarian Law and other related laws in calling out clashes or disagreements between the government and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Thus, he requested that the CHR should not be dragged into the clashes or disagreements because all the commission wants to do is to ensure that no group or individual abuse its or his power.
He stressed that the CHR has always opposed armed insurrection and other forms of terrorism because they are against the law.
Without giving details on what he called as clashes or disagreements, Gascon expressed his lament that the role and functions of the CHR have always been misconstrued by most people.
“Hihingi rin po sana kami sa inyo ng pang-unawa na ang tungkulin namin is we call out (We would also like to ask for understanding that our duty is to call out). When we see violations, we will call it out. Huwag po sanang masamain kung ginagawa lang po namin ang aming trabaho (Please don’t be offended if we are just doing our job),” he added.
The CHR, through Spokesperson and lawyer Jacqueline Ann de Guia, had expressed hopes on the reduction of violence as it emphasized that “senseless violence” sadly affects civilians.