CHR recognizes DOJ report on review of death cases in drug war operations

Published June 18, 2021, 4:55 PM

by Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

Commission on Human Rights

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has recognized the report of Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on the progress of the review by the Department of Justice (DOJ)-led inter-agency panel on deaths in the illegal drugs operations.

Guevarra had also rendered a report before the United Nations (UN) Joint Program on Human Rights on the progress of the review.

Department of Justice

The CHR said the report shows the government’s “cooperative stance” in upholding human rights.

“This cooperative stance by the government with the UN is a positive act towards improving the human rights situation in the country,” the commission said through Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia.

“More than compliance, actions towards greater accountability for human rights violations committed should be seen in pursuit of the welfare of the victims,” De Guia, a lawyer, said.

The UN Joint Program on Human Rights was extended through a resolution issued by the UN Human Rights Council in Sept. 2020.

It sought to address the findings of the UN Human Rights Office of “widespread and systematic killing of thousands of alleged drug suspects” and other forms of human rights violations in the Philippines.

The said report also highlighted the “persistent impunity and formidable barriers to accessing justice” that need to be urgently addressed.

De Guia said the CHR has been encouraging the government to “extend” the dedication shown by the DOJ in investigating cases of human rights violations, especially now that the International Criminal Court (ICC) is set to move the Philippines’ case to the preliminary investigation phase.

As these things progress, De Guia said that the Commission is willing to extend help in any way that it can.

“CHR continues to be open to any form of cooperation with the government in addressing the challenges to the people’s rights and dignity, including through the conduct of independent probes for alleged human rights violations, in line with our mandate as the country’s national human rights institution,” she said.