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Female Number of posts : 880
Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: CHR TO PROVIDE PROTECTIVE CUSTODY   Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:12 am


Quezon City – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will be providing protective custody to Ms. Melissa C. Roxas, upon her return to the Philippines from the United States. Ms. Roxas will be coming back to the country in order to attend the next hearing on her petition for a writ of amparo, before the Court of Appeals. She is set to arrive Monday evening, July 20.

In addition to the hearing before the Court of Appeals, Ms. Roxas will also be testifying before the Commission on Human Rights. She has accused the military of abducting her on May 19, 2009, and subjecting her to physical and mental torture. She was released six (6) days later and has since then went back to the US. A hearing will be held by the CHR in order to more fully investigate this incident. This hearing will take place on July 23, 2009, Thursday, at 9:00 am.

“This public hearing by the CHR will be carried out in line with its Constitutional mandate, to investigate human rights violations. The culture of impunity in the Philippines must be brought to an end. These individuals and groups who carry out abductions and torture must be held to account. The government must take meaningful action to protect human rights in the Philippines, not merely in statements and on paper, but also in reality.

“It is vital that the survivors of human rights violations are protected. Their safety and well-being must be safeguarded so that they can be allowed to tell their stories, and shed light on the true situation in the Philippines today. It is gratifying to note that the work being done by the CHR to assert its independence has given it credibility in the eyes of members of civil society and Ms. Roxas. We will do everything we can to keep Ms. Roxas safe. At the same time, however, this demonstrates that there is a need to overhaul the witness protection program in the Philippines.

“One of the best ways to help ensure the safety of Ms. Roxas, is to allow her to tell her story to the Filipino people and to the world. That is one more reason these hearings before the Court of Appeals and the CHR, as well as the robust participation of media, are so important. Transparency and accountability will help keep Ms. Melissa Roxas safe, and they will help keep all of us safe as well” said Chairperson Leila M. De Lima.
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