COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
25 JANUARY 2008
Chairperson Purificacion V. Quisumbing of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) has issued a statement condemning in the strongest possible terms the unauthorized and illegal act of one of its special investigators in carrying a gun to the Mendiola rally last January 22, 2008. The independent constitutional body does not condone the commission or omission of acts by its officers and staff that are inimical to the public interest and are contrary to international and national human rights standards and principles, particularly those in relation to the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceable assembly.
Chairperson Quisumbing pointed out that the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) led the condemnation of the policy of calibrated preemptive response (CPR) in rallies and reminded law enforcers that BP 880 provided the legal standards of law enforcement based on maximum tolerance as it specifically prohibits the carrying of guns during public rallies. In addition to this, the CHRP head also said the act of one of its personnel also compromised the integrity of the Commission in its role on the United Nationís Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials.
In the meantime, Chairperson Quisumbing assures the public that despite this unfortunate incident, CHRP will continue to discharge and perform its functions and responsibilities as effectively and efficiently possible in accordance with its constitutional mandate. xxx