PLEASE SPARE THE CHR FROM BLACK PROPAGANDA AND POLITICAL MUDSLINGINGS
Quezon City – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is calling on
certain sectors to end their use of black propaganda against the
Commission. An allegation has been made claiming that the CHR, or the Chairperson, was involved in the unauthorized taking out of an inmate from prison. This claim is false. The CHR categorically denies that it has ever been involved in any such irregular act, and categorically
states that it would never involve itself in an activity which
violates the law and which tramples on human rights.
This commitment of the Commission to the rule of law is woven into the
very fabric of its existence. The CHR was created as part of the
response to the Marcos years, a period where violations of the law and
human rights were commonplace. The 1987 Constitution mandates the CHR to investigate violations of human rights law, and monitor the
government's compliance with international law. The rule of law is
inextricably linked with its mandate to protect and promote human
rights. The Commission would never sanction a violation of the law or
human rights, much less commit one itself. Such violations are in
fact what it is working to prevent and punish.
“We are a Commission created by law, in the aftermath of human rights
abuses, with a mandate to investigate and prevent violations of human
rights law. The rule of law is part of the core of our institution.
We work to uphold it. We would never break it” said Chairperson Leila
M. De Lima.
Furthermore, this work being carried out to protect human rights and
prevent violations is crucial. A culture of impunity exists in the
Philippines. Detainees are tortured, media practitioners are killed,
and members of civil society are abducted, while perpetrators are not
meaningfully held accountable. In order for the Commission to
effectively carry out its work, it must remain independent and
insulated from political partisanship and vested interests. That is
why the CHR is disturbed by this attempt to add political color where
there is none.
“I am disappointed that certain sectors are trying to inject political
partisanship, into the work carried out by the CHR. The effort to
protect the human rights of all people, and of all Filipinos, is more
important than the petty political ambitions or vulgar claims to power
of certain sectors. It is sad to see how low some people will go in
order to cling to wealth and power. I am certain that the Filipino
people will not stand for it, and neither will the Commission on Human
Rights” said Chairperson De Lima.
Finally, all this is taking place in the context of recent
breakthroughs in the investigation of the Commission, into the Davao
Death Squads (DDS). Witnesses have surfaced, providing information
which has led to the discovery of human bones, alleged to be DDS
victims. The CHR is continuing its investigation of these human
remains, as well as of the DDS in general, but already it is apparent
that certain sectors are responding with lies and misinformation.
“This black propaganda smells of panic and stinks of desperation.
Certain sectors have realized that the CHR is sincere in its effort to
investigate human rights violations, and is carrying out its mandate
with independence and resolve. That is why they are attempting to
tarnish the reputation of the Commission on Human Rights.
I am not discouraged, however. I know that these sectors will
continue to lie and misinform because that is all they have left.
They are running scared because they realize that the CHR is doing its
job, and is exposing what they have done, and what they are continuing
I am also not discouraged because I know that the Filipino people are
intelligent and cannot be fooled. They can see through these lies and
misinformation. They know why this black propaganda is being spread.
They understand what is going on. And they know that the Commission
on Human Rights is working to protect the rights of all Filipinos, and
that when human rights are respected this benefits not just ourselves,
but also our children, and our children's children” said the