CHR reminds PNP: Follow your own rules

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
CHR reminds PNP: Follow your own rules
This composite photo shows August 2018 rooftop view of City Garden Grand Hotel and Instagram photo of Christine Angelica Dacera.
Facebook / City Grand Hotel; Instagram / xtinedacera

MANILA, Philippines — Amid the manhunt for suspects implicated in the alleged rape-slay of a flight attendant in Makati City, the government's human rights commission reminded cops to follow their own rules, particularly those involving manhunts and arrests requiring legal basis before being launched. 

To recall, Police Gen. Debold Sinas, the chief of the Philippine National Police, issued an ultimatum to the remaining eight suspects in the case of Tuesday night: surrender now, or face a manhunt and open yourself to the risk of force. At a press briefing the following day, Sinas asserted: "I think it's really rape...We have evidence but we cannot release it right now."

In its statement sent to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, the Commission on Human Rights urged officers of the law to "be circumspect in their pronouncements of launching a manhunt operation against suspects without any legal basis such as warrant of arrest."

"As much as we all want to immediately find out the truth about Christine’s death, the Commission reminds authorities to abide by their own rules and procedures to not cast any doubt in the regularity of police operations, as actions taken at the onset of the investigation play a pivotal role in the full and transparent resolution of the case," the commission's statement read. 

"These standards must be carried out in full accordance with the rule of law while ensuring that the rights of all parties involved are respected."

READ: What we know so far: Death of flight attendant Christine Dacera

Days after the death of Dacera was first reported, the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged murder remain largely unclear. 

Malacañang has urged the public to wait for the findings of the final investigation on Dacera's death before making assumptions.

Calls for death penalty

The CHR also reiterated its stand against death penalty, saying that "conviction of criminals and certainty of arrest and punishment are more effective strategies in deterring crime and in delivering justice."

Conversations surrounding the controversial reimposition of the death penalty in the country, which was earlier abolished in 2006 under then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, have since been revitalized following the controversial and tragic death. This also comes a little over a week after the murders of a mother and her son in Paniqui, Tarlac. 

READ: More killings? Proponents use Paniqui murders to renew calls for death penalty

The London-based global human rights monitor Amnesty International has disputed the narrative that imposing the death penalty can deter crimes and make societies safer, based on what it has said is well-documented evidence from countries across the world. 

"Likewise, the Commission refutes the call to reimpose death penalty if proven that Christine’s death resulted from sexual assault. While perpetrators of rape and other forms of sexual violence must be held accountable, capital punishment would not genuinely address the problem," CHR also said in its statement. 

"The lack of access to justice of victims of sexual violence and their families and the long persistence of misogyny and impunity in our society are the root causes of these violations," it added. 

"Although tempting, imposing draconian punishments for heinous crimes might lead our society and institutions in committing further human rights violations."

with reports from Christian Deiparine  

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