Probe on human rights violations to continue – CHR

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Unfazed by calls for its abolition, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) reiterated yesterday it would continue with its mandate to investigate human rights violations committed against any individual, including suspected criminals.

CHR Chairman Chito Gascon said the creation of the commission as an independent office was provided under the 1987 Constitution.

Article 13 of the Constitution identified the composition and functions of the CHR, which include investigation of all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights.

The CHR has received criticism in the past months for its statement against anti-crime operations by police that resulted in the death of a number of suspected criminals.

It was also at the receiving end of scathing comments of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte, whom the CHR has found guilty of violating the Magna Carta of Women for his controversial rape remark during the campaign.

Last week, the CHR started its investigation on the shooting of Alfie Turado, a rape suspect who was shot dead while in police custody after he allegedly tried to grab the gun of a police officer.

Gascon maintained that the CHR was supporting efforts of the government and law enforcement agencies to stop crime.

But he said this should be done in compliance with the law.

Investigations conducted by the commission are not limited to human rights violations committed on suspected criminals, the CHR said.

For instance, in the case of Turado, the CHR said it was open to providing support to his alleged victims.

CHR regional director for Metro Manila Gilbert Boiser said their investigators have talked to the victims and informed them that they may request for financial assistance subject to evaluation.

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