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2015-Oct-04 By Jay Dejaresco

Former Senator Nene Pimentel has outlined certain areas of concern that should be the subject of attention by the Commission Human Rights in performing its constitutional duty of protecting and defending  human rights.

Pimentel the country’s leading figure in the defense of human rights, outlined specific fields that the CHR can train its guns in promoting the the rights of our people.

CHR told: Help protect the environment

Issues involving the environment are human rights concerns, thus needing the attention of the Commission Human Rights.

Pimentel said the involvement of the CHR may be justified under Section 3 of its powers as set forth in the Constitution.

Pimentel said maintaining a clean environment is now deemed a part of human rights, considering that clean air, clean water, and clean environment are necessary for healthy living that all human beings are entitled to.

In this regard, he said the CHR should work things out with NGOs and with the people’s organizations dealing with environmental issues.

Inevitably, the CHR has to work with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, the DENR, and other government agencies concerned like the Bureau of Forest Development, and the Bureau of Fisheries.


One of the key areas of concern that the Commission on Human Rgiths should focus on is the need to secure our women against trafficking, and minors from exploitation.

Reports are rampant that women and children are illegally “exported”, supposedly for gainful employment, only to wind up as abused slaves of foreign masters or sex objects peddled by the underworld.

It is vital that the CHR should work, at the very least, with the Department of Labor, and the Philippine Commission on Women, he said

There is also the Inter-agency Council against trafficking and violence of Women and Children Pimentel said.

Stop torture

Pimentel  urged the Commission on Human Rights to help the vulnerable sectors against the culture of torture.

Putting a permanent stop to incidents of torture should be among the areas that the CHR should focus on.

In the name of law enforcement and security of the State, suspects are subjected to torture, or are made to disappear, and salvaged or extra-judicially executed, Pimentel said.

 “Those are barbaric acts that cannot be justified under the norms of a civilized, democratic government,” he said.

“Moreover, the Philippines has been a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture since 2009,” Pimentel stressed.

Incidentally, in the ASEAN, only our country and Cambodia, it seems, have ratified the UNCAT.

The government agencies with which the CHR should interact on the issue of torture are, among other official bodies, the PNP, the AFP, and the DOJ.

Help ensure peoples’ safety

The Commission on Human Rights should help ensure safety and freedom of movement of people within and out of the country, Pimentel said.

“If people cannot go to their places of work or recreation without fear of molestation by lawless elements, the human right of free movement is unduly restricted,” he said.

 He added that the CHR must coordinate activities in this regard with the DOLE, the DFA, the Police and the Armed Forces and other agencies.

Work hand-in-hand with LGUs

The Commission on Human Rights may be able to fulfill its mandate more easily if it works with the local government units concerned, Pimentel emphasized.

This means that the barangay, the municipality, the city and the province, and even the region also have vital roles to play in the protection and promotion of the rights of all sectors of Philippine society. 


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