Absolutely no rights abuses in gov’t’s COVID-19 policies – Año

Published September 14, 2021, 12:11 PM

by Chito Chavez

Human rights violation has never been part of the government’s policy in addressing the country’s coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) woes, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año maintained on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

“We assure na wala sa policy natin ang paglabag ng anumang human rights ng ating mga kababayan (We assure that it is not in our policy to violate any of the human rights of our countrymen),’’ Año said.

In an interview over GMA News, Año issued the declaration in response to the report of an international rights group pertaining to the supposed rise of human rights violations in the country amid the pandemic.

Año stressed that measures have been initiated to ensure that human rights are always followed while violators are held accountable.

The DILG chief emphasized that they do not support red-tagging of community pantry organizers and do not tolerate erring policemen, after the third and final report of the Independent International Commission of Investigation into Human Rights Violations in the Philippines (Investigate PH) pointed out these issues.

The report said the government used security forces to arrest over 100,000 people for leaving their homes to collect water and food or to try to work during the implementation of community quarantine.

It also noted that organized community action to provide food to households was repressed even if the participants complied with COVID restrictions, since these initiatives were “red-tagged.’’ (Chito A. Chavez)