Friday, March 22, 2013

Statement of GPH-Monitoring Committee Chair Chito Gascon on the 15th anniversary of the signing of the CARHRIHL

From the Website of OPPAP

Statement of GPH-Monitoring Committee Chair Chito Gascon on the 15th anniversary of the signing of the CARHRIHL

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Posted on Saturday, 16 March, 2013 - 11:01

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front. In the time that has passed since the signing of that instrument, particularly in the last few years, the GPH has time and again demonstrated its firm commitment towards the protection of Human Rights and respect for International Humanitarian Law. Over the last four years, the GPH has passed several laws penalizing the most heinous offenses against human rights, such as torture (as penalized by Republic Act No. 9745), enforced disappearance (as penalized by R.A. No. 10353) war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity (as penalized by R.A. No. 9851), and has even passed a law compensating victims of human rights violations during the Marcos Regime (R.A. No. 10368). The GPH has also passed the long-awaited Reproductive Health Law (R.A. No. 10354) and the Domestic Helpers Act (R.A. 10361) both of which were designed to improve the lives of millions of Filipinos across the country, especially the poor.

Furthermore, during the Universal Periodic Review conducted by the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission last May 2012, a marked decrease in reported human rights violations was observed, further testimony that the efforts of the GPH to inculcate respect for HR and IHL extends well beyond the halls of the legislature and all the way to the countryside, where the vast majority of human rights violations reportedly occur.
Finally, the GPH has taken significant steps towards prosecuting the alleged violators of human rights with the formation of the Interagency Committee (IAC) through Administrative Order No. 35 (s. 2012) comprising the Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and, as a representative of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, the GPH-Monitoring Committee, an office originally created pursuant to the GPH commitment to the CARHRIHL. The IAC has already met several times and has compiled a catalog of cases for immediate action.

In the decade and a half that has passed since the GPH signed the CARHRIHL, it has clearly demonstrated that when it comes to respect for HR and IHL, its commitments are far more than mere lip-service. This is a government that is ready to walk the talk.