Chr ulat sa bayan


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Chr ulat sa bayan

  1. 1. Ulat sa Taong Bayan2010 / 2011For more information, please contact:CHAIRPERSON LORETTA ANN P. ROSALESCommission on Human RightsUP Diliman, Quezon Cityt: +63 2 928-5655e: Introduction from the Commission06. Guidepost One – Strengthened National HR Mechanism07. Guidepost Two – Enhanced Human Rights Service Delivery07. Guidepost Three – Alliances at Various Levels08. Guidepost Four – Institutionalized Comprehensive Monitoring09. Guidepost Five – A Culture of Human Rights09. Guidepost Six – A Resilient Commission10. Confronting Weaknesses and Challenges10. Recommendations12. Annex – The Paris Principles 1
  2. 2. Introduction from the CommissionThe Commission on Human Rights will soon be celebrating its 25 th year ofservice. On the eve of this milestone, we take this opportunity to refect onour performance particularly during the last calendar year 2010-2011 afterthe Commission adopted its new strategic plan, Roadmap for Human Rights2010/2016.Two activities stand out this year – the distribution of checks to more than6,000 members of the class of victims of human rights violations under theMarcos Regime and the conduct of the 2nd National Human Rights EducatorsCongress – in addition to the regular services provided by the Commission.The Commission also commemorated two important events thatstrengthened the countrys general human rights promotion and protectionframework – the ratifcation of the Rome Statute of the International CriminalCourt and the adoption of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of theAnti-Torture Act of 2009.The Commissions role as the national comprehensive monitor has beenenhanced through its successful intervention not only in cases involving civiland political rights violations but in cases implicating economic, social andcultural rights cases as well. Foremost of these are interventions that resultedin the disapproval by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) ofgender-discriminatory economic provisions in the collective bargainingagreement between the Philippine Airlines and the Flight Attendants andStewards Association of the Philippines; the reinstatement of twenty-nineillegally dismissed local government employees in Taft, Eastern Samar; andthe stoppage or postponement of forced evictions of several urban poorcommunities. Of special mention is the critical role of our specialist centers:the Womens Human Rights Center spearheaded the repeal of Manilasinfamous EO 3 or the ban on artifcial contraceptives; the Child Rights Centerhas been able to shape the discourse on the responsibility of media toprotect childrens rights, and as against calls to amend the Juvenile JusticeWelfare Act; the Forensic Center has been very busy conducting autopsiesand other forensic services all over the Philippines and often at a momentsnotice.The Commission has resolved the Capitanea case involving the killing of aPDEA agent attributed to the agency itself. The Commission also issuedseveral human rights advisories and position papers on such issues as illegalarrests/arbitrary detention; use of non-lethal sonic devices; local standards offulflment of the right to housing; the FASAP case; and the call to accordformer President Marcos a state funeral at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The 2
  3. 3. year also saw the roll-out by the Commission of several tools integratinghuman rights-based approaches in the following areas of work: legislatingchildrens rights; the legislative liaison system; human rights education andtraining; immigration detention; and management of detention facilities inorder to prevent torture.International engagements helped raise the Commissions profle in businessand human rights, prevention of torture and reproductive rights. TheCommission also submitted an independent report as part of the 2 nd Cycle ofthe Universal Periodic Review. While the year saw the untimely demise offormer Chairperson Dr. Purifcacion Valera-Quisumbing – the staunchestadvocate for the integration of international human rights norms, standardsand principles in domestic legislation and practice – it also witnessed theselection of another Filipino, Prof. Virginia Dandan, as UN IndependentExpert on Human Rights and International Solidarity.Internally, the Commissions thrust of fostering high professional standards,synergistic working dynamics, and people-focused service delivery has ledto the adoption of a new Manual on Investigation and Case ManagementProcess and the impending completion of its frst Omnibus Rules ofProcedure.As a national institution operating under severe resource constraints, theCommission has been able to accomplish signifcantly more than its regularbudget would have allowed by pursuing collaborative projects with (1) theUnited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on the ground-level monitoring of the situation of internally displaced persons in Mindanao;(2) the European Union on enhancing the role of National Human RightsInstitutions in ASEAN; (3) the New Zealand Government (NZAID and NZHuman Rights Commission) on human rights community development; (4)the Australian Government (AusAID) on empowering indigenouscommunities, improving forensic capabilities and enhancing casemanagement; (5) Asia Foundation and USAID on developing a Martus-basedHR Executive Information System; and of course, (6) UNDP under itsdevelopment and governance Philippine portfolio. This December we shall becommencing the implementation of a multi-year program on strengtheningthe Commission on Human Rights with the support of the Spanish Agencyfor International Development Cooperation (AECID).Partnerships with local organizations have also been intensifed. TheCommission has partnered with the Medical Action Group in trainingmunicipal health offcers in forensic investigation; the Philippine Alliance ofHuman Rights Advocates (PAHRA) on conducting case conferences;Ecowaste Coalition on defning the nexus between human rights andchemical safety; the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos on trainingMuslim community paralegals; Rainbow Rights Coalition on advocating for 3
  4. 4. LGBT rights in the workplace; ESCR-Asia and the International Movement ofDevelopment Managers on the conduct of the 2 nd National Human RightsEducators Congress; Likhaan and ReproCen on combating genderdiscriminatory and anti-RH policies at the local level; Alternative Law Groupson facilitating community-based human rights dialogues with the ArmedForces of the Philippines; and the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracyon the provision of human rights training for aleemats or the women scholarsof Islam and their communities; Mindanao Human Rights Action Center oncommunity-based monitoring of human rights and many others.This year also marked the frst time that the Commission participated in theannual Pride March – the only delegation coming from a government agency.We intend to make this an annual tradition not for publicity or any otherpurpose but to underscore fundamental principles of equality and non-discrimination in the fght against violence, social stigma and HIV-AIDS.We shall likewise build upon the resulting relationships with civil society andthe other government agencies alike to expand the human rights safety netdown to the community level, where it matters most. An example of a newinitiative along this line scheduled to begin in 2011/2012 is the project ondeveloping a human rights manual of practice for DOJ prosecutors with theInstitute for the Administration of Justice of the UP Law Center incooperation with civil society groups with experience working on both civiland political as well as ESC rights violations.During 2010/2011 the Commission has been working hard to secure thepassage of vital human rights legislation. This include: (1) the CHR Charterwhich would vest it with expanded powers, including prosecution of humanrights offenses; (2) Anti-enforced Disappearance Bill; (3) Compensation ofVictims of Martial Law; (4) Protection of Internally Displaced Persons Bill; and(5) Anti-extrajudicial Killings Bill. The enactment of the frst three bills, DeputySpeaker Lorenza Tanada III had announced last December 6, is assured inthe 1st quarter of next year.The great promise of human rights remains to be fulflled, especially in acontext like ours where years of corruption and contemptuous disregard ofthe peoples trust have resulted in the veritable rape of the nationsresources. Public spending has consequently contracted as theadministration sought to tie up loose ends and root out corruption. Theintroduction of zero-based budgeting is a positive step – one that assuresaccountability not only in budget execution in budget authorization as well.Yet only an increased and improved awareness of human rights by all canhelp protect the most vulnerable against a disproportionate impact of cuts inpublic spending. The Commission has begun to work with others to promotethe development of human rights impact assessments to assist budgetdecision making and policy making 4
  5. 5. The Commission itself has suffered two years of successive budget cuts.Worse the Commissions fscal autonomy has sustained a tremendous blowin the 2012 GAA when Congress, heeding the Department of Budget andManagements recommendation, maintained the transfer of theCommissions budget for unflled positions to the Miscellaneous PersonnelBenefts Fund. Without doubt, this will development will have to beconsidered when the Commission undergoes re-confrmation of its “A”accreditation with the International Coordinating Committee of NHRIs nextyear.Nevertheless, the Commission is of the view that the positives far outweighthe negatives. Tomorrows sun shines even brighter upon the present Aquinoadministrations assurance that human rights remains to be the foundation ofits platform for good governance and inclusive economic development.Loretta Ann P. Rosales, ChairMa. Cecilia Rachel V. Quisumbing, CommissionerMa. Victoria V. Cardona, CommissionerNorberto D. dela Cruz, CommissionerJose Manuel S. Mamauag, Commissioner8 December 2011 5
  6. 6. Guidepost One – Strengthened National Human RightsMechanismThe Commission shall contribute to the overall efforts at strengtheningthe various mechanisms for human rights protection and promotion inthe country particularly, national policies or laws to harmonizeinternational standards with domestic laws, executive policies andprograms to implement standards, and institutional mechanisms at thenational and local levels.Although no major human rights legislation has been enacted in the periodcovered by this Report, the Commission has received assurance fromCongressional leadership that 3 out of 5 proposals in its Human RightsLegislative Agenda are slated for enactment in the 1 st quarter of 2012. Theseare: the Commission on Human Rights Charter, the Act Penalizing EnforcedDisappearance and the Act Authorizing the Compensation of Victims ofMartial Law under the Marcos Dictatorship. The IDP Bill and the Anti-EJK Billwill hopefully be passed by the 2 nd quarter.Even as the ratifcation of the Optional Protocol on the Convention AgainstTorture (OPCAT) and the Convention Against Enforced Disappearancesremain pending in the Senate, the Philippines has become the newest stateparty to the International Criminal Court when the Rome Statute was ratifed.Moreover, we are expecting the election of the frst ever Filipino member ofthe Court in the person of renowned international criminal law expert SenatorMiriam Defensor Santiago.The work for the creation of a National Preventive Mechanism for OPCAT hasbeen temporarily put on hold pending its ratifcation, but the Commissionhas, in partnership with the Association for the Prevention of Torture, adopteda Detention Monitoring Strategic Plan using the Preventive Approach whichserves as a very appropriate ground work for the eventual formation of theNPM.The National Monitoring Mechanism (NMM) for Extrajudicial Killings will soonbe launched with the Commission and the Presidential Human RightsCommittee jointly coordinating preparatory efforts. Incidentally, after thisReport, a coalition of Civil Society groups will be launching a peoplesmonitoring mechanism. We welcome this and other complementaryinitiatives. 6
  7. 7. Guidepost Two – Enhanced Human Rights ServiceDeliveryEnhanced human rights protection services contributes to improvedhuman rights situation and the strengthening of the rule of law, therebyrebuilding people’s trust in the government and democratic institutions.To improve the delivery of human rights protection services, the Commissionhas been able to fnalize it Omnibus Rules of Procedures. Next week, theCommission en banc will be able to formally approve it and direct itspublication as well as submission to the Offce of the National AdministrativeRegister of the UP Law Center.With support from the European Union and The Asia Foundation, theCommission has fnally approved a new Manual on Investigation and CaseManagement Processes. Copies of the manual are now available for yourperusal. With the support of the Australian Government, we intend to use thismanual and the soon-to-be adopted ORP as the basis for improvements inour Martus-based Execution Information System in order to facilitateprofessional case management and more accurate statistical analysis.AusAID has also committed signifcant resources to help us upgrade ourtools and techniques in human rights investigation through forensic science.This will help speed up resolution of high profle cases and improvedocumentation of fndings and evidences for prosecution- ready reports.We have also updated our Organizational Performance Indicator Framework(OPIF) to allow for seamless integration with the Philippine DevelopmentPlan. By clarifying our major services and outputs into three main categories:promotion, protection and policy, we expect to generate a more coherentunderstanding of our accountabilities to the people.Guidepost Three – Alliances at various levelsAs a strategy for effective and effcient program delivery, the CHRP shallforge alliances and partnerships with the various stakeholders onhuman rights at the international, regional, national, and grassrootslevels.At the domestic front, the Commission has been able to maintain stronglinkages with both civil society groups and government organizations oncommon areas of work, particularly on education, training, research, andadvocacy. Various Memorandums of Undertaking (MOU) have beenconcluded with these stakeholders on specifc initiatives.However, the Commission has yet to revitalize its internal mechanism for amore regular engagement with NGOs and CSOs. The proposed Guidelines 7
  8. 8. on Partnership Development including Accreditation in accordance withinternational standards like the Kandy Program of Action, remain pending.At the operational level, the Commission has been able to assure areasonable degree of certitude that foreign- assisted and technicalcooperation projects are aligned and rationalized with the core mandates andpriorities of the CHRP. However, the European Commission had decided notto renew its support for the regional initiative aimed at promoting the role ofnational human rights institutions in ASEAN. Nevertheless, under theCommissions leadership, the Southeast Asian NHRI Forum (SEANF) hasbeen able to achieve critical synergies in business and human rights,reproductive health and anti-discrimination, and prevention of torture.Inspired by its successful work holding a multinational mining frmaccountable for human rights abuses in Didipio, Nueva Viscaya, theCommission successfully parried its membership in the InternationalCoordinating Committee of NHRIs and the Asia Pacifc NHRI Forum to rallyother NHRIs on a frm platform in support for business and human rights. Itwas elected a member of the Working Group on Business and Human Rightsof the ICC.Guidepost Four – Institutionalized ComprehensiveMonitoringA major enhancement to the strategic and operational framework of theCommission is the articulation of Comprehensive Monitoring (CM) asthe way to go. CM is an evolving system of determining governmentcompliance with human rights treaties in the execution of executive,legislative, judicial and other government functions, systems andprocesses with the end in view of harmonizing them with the standardsand principles of human rights and recommending appropriatemeasures and actions.In response, CHRP has develop or adapt several tools for monitoring,particularly on monitoring places of detention, including immigrationdetention, as well as on monitoring the human rights situation of internallydisplaced persons in Mindanao. Work continues on the identifcation of acomprehensive set of national human rights indicators, with the assurance oftechnical and fnancial support coming from the Right to DevelopmentSection of the Offce of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.Quite signifcantly, we have been able to establish baseline information up tothe provincial level on civil and political rights violations (EJK, ED and torture)through the Legal and Investigation Offce. We aim to cascade this capabilityto the regional offces as part of the general overhaul of our investigation andcase management practices. 8
  9. 9. Guidepost Five – A Culture of Human RightsThe ability to respect human dignity and human rights should be secondnature to every person.The Commission has been able to generate overfowing enthusiasm forhuman rights among stakeholders in the security sector, law enforcementsector, tertiary education sector, local government units, and basiccommunities, as evidenced by the resounding success of the 2 nd NationalHuman Rights Educators Congress and the three marathon runs for humanrights held this year.The Commission has been able to develop and implement community-basedhuman rights education and empowerment programs for indigenouscommunities as well as Islamic women scholars and paralegals. Variousregional offces, foremost of which is Region I, have been able to incubateregional networks of human rights education centers. Along with the lessonslearned in the general review of our Barangay Human Rights Action Centerprogram, funded by UNDP, we intend to systematize community-basedhuman rights education and training under a National Center for HRET, incompliance with the UN Decade Program on HRE, the UPR recommendationto train security forces on HR, and the recently adopted UN Declaration onthe Right to Human Rights Education and Training. This initiative shall receivethe bulk of the support coming from the Spanish Government through AECIDand shall be complementary to LIOs grassroots-based human rightsprotection and promotion initiative BHRACs under a more solid footing inlocal governance structure, which is being considered by the European Unionfor funding next year.Guidepost Six – A Resilient CommissionStrengthening the CHRP as the national human rights institution in thecountry is a primordial concern considering its present organizationalweakness.At the core of these is the lack of a comprehensive enabling document - acharter that would clothe it with an equal legal stature along with otherconstitutional commissions. As we have stated earlier, the Commission isnaturally elated at the prospect of having a new Charter by the early part of2012.Organizational reforms are progressing at a slow pace. A new organizationalstructure will have to be approved soon, to be followed by serious efforts tostandardize internal communication processes, human resourcesdevelopment, and fnancial management. 9
  10. 10. We remain highly committed to the forging of healing relationships within andwithout. The Commission en banc has agreed to adopt clearer internal rulesof procedure and a code of ethical practice for members of the Commission.Confronting Weaknesses and ChallengesIn the course of its work, the present Commission has come to theconclusion that the success of its work is ultimately dependent on its abilityto apply the human rights based approach to development. Internally thismeans the translation in direct and concrete terms of principles andstandards drawn from the core content of human rights norms. In this light,the biggest internal obstacle is bureaucratic inertia. As a young institutionconceived upon revolutionary ideals according primal value to selfessservice for humanity in all circumstances, the Commission is unfortunatelybeing hampered by a continuing limited ability to envision itself upon aposition of general accountability, professional competence and people-centered service.External challenges come in the form of the governments lack of seriousinvestment in frming up the framework for implementing human rights. TheCommission is still seen as an agency for implementation instead of aninstitution concerned with monitoring implementation. Thus, the perceivedineffectiveness of the current Presidential Human Rights Committee tomarshall the various forces of the Executive branch under a single cohesivehuman rights agenda. We can only but speculate as to the real reasonsbehind the administrations insistence that the Commissions personnelbudget remain within the formers purview.RecommendationsInformed by its experience in the past year 2010/2011, the Commissionsubmits that theUnited Nations and the International Community • Continue to encourage Governments all over the world to invest suffcient resources towards the effective provisioning of national institutions for human rights protection and promotion; • Further interrogate the nexus between human rights, governance and development, on that basis capacitating governments to adopt the Human Rights Based Approach in the performance of their functions;The Executive • To back its institutional commitments for human rights with suffcient resources to implement the Philippine Development Plan, the new internal peace and security plan, to investigate and prosecute human 10
  11. 11. rights violations, and to educate all stakeholders on human rights, utilizing the process appropriate human rights approaches; • To co-sponsor the draft UN Resolution on the Role of NHRIs; • To enrich the Philippine Development Plan and the Annual Investment Program with vital learnings inspired by the Business and Human Rights Framework;The Legislative • To pass with all deliberate speed the CHR Charter, the Anti-ED Bill, the Marcos Victims Compensation Bill, the Anti-EJK Bill and the IDP Rights Bill; • To consider in good faith and approve without delay the Reproductive Health Bill, the Anti-Discrimination Bill, the Freedom of Information Bill, the Rights of the Informal Sector Bill and other vital human rights legislation; • To ratify the Convention on Enforced Disappearance and the OPCAT;The Judiciary • To intensify the delivery of human rights education and training programs for judges and offcers of the judiciary; • To include human rights among the mandatory courses in both undergraduate legal education and continuing legal education; • To consider amendments in the Rules of Court as to facilitate the speedy dispensation of justice;Civil Society and Peoples Organizations • To continue to engage with the Commission in pursuit of common human rights concerns; • To work for a fair and common understanding of human rights bridging across ideological, religious, ethnic and other artifcial divides; 11
  12. 12. AnnexThe Paris PrinciplesThe Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines complies with theUnited Nations (UN) Principles Relating to the Status of National Institutions,known as the Paris Principles. These are a series of recommendations on therole, status and functions of national human rights institutions which weredeveloped in Paris in 1991, and adopted by the UN General Assembly in1993. The Paris Principles provide that national human rights institutionsshould:• Be established in the Constitution or by a law that clearly sets out its roleand powers;• Be given the power to promote and protect human rights and have asbroad a mandate as possible;• Be pluralist and should co-operate with nongovernmental organisations(NGOs), judicial institutions, professional bodies and governmentdepartments;• Have an infrastructure that allows them to carry out their functions;• Have adequate funding to allow the institution “to be independent of thegovernment and not be subject to fnancial control which might affectthis independence”;• Have stable mandates for the members of the Commission provided for bylaw. They provide that national human rights institution shall have duties andpowers including:• Making recommendations and proposals to Government, Parliament orother competent bodies, on existing and proposed laws, administrativeprocess, or changes to the organisation of the judiciary which will impact onhuman rights, human rights violations, and the general situation of humanrights or specifc issues it decides to take up;• Promoting harmonisation of national law, policy and practice withinternational human rights law and standards;• Contributing to international human rights reviews of the state;• Cooperating with the United Nations and other bodies dedicated topromoting and protecting human rights;• Promoting teaching and research on human rights and organising publicawareness and education programmes;• To publicise human rights and efforts to combat discrimination byincreasing public awareness, especially through information and educationand by making use of media channels. They also provide guidance on themethods of operation and powers of national institutions. National humanrights institutions should:• Be entitled to consider any issue falling within their competence without theneed for authorisation;• Be entitled to hear any person or gather any evidence needed to considermatters falling within their competence;• Publicise their decisions and concerns, as well as meet regularly. 12