The Commission on Human Rights is not opposed to government efforts to suppress crime, but is mandated to make sure that these efforts are within the law, its chairman explained Sunday.
“Hindi po kami kalaban ng gobyerno, para po kaming referee… may tamang paraan ang paggawa nito,” CHR Chairman Jose Luis Martin Gascon said in an interview on radio dzBB on Sunday morning.
“Ang human rights po ay hindi lamang po para sa kriminal, ang human rights ay para sa lahat. Pati ang mga biktima ay may human rights po,” he said. The CHR has been criticized for seemingly focusing on rights abuses allegedly committed by security forces. The commission has cited non-government entities like the New People’s Army in the past, however.
Gascon added that whule those who commit “human wrongs” — or crime — should be prosecuted and sentenced if found guilty, denying suspects their right to due process will also be a “human wrong” in itself.
He added that the CHR will not issue a “universal” statement on comments made by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who is expected to be proclaimed president-elect once Congress canvasses votes from the May 9 elections, that police should “shoot to kill” criminals since there are instances when police officers are allowed to use their firearms according to proper guidelines.