ConCom to look into CHR’s composition

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte's Consultative Committee (Concom) to Review the 1987 Constitution will look into the composition of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the prospect of adding more members in line with the proposed inclusion of socioeconomic and environmental rights in the Bill of Rights.

Concom chair and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno said in an interview over DZRH that the addition of the second and third generation of rights to the existing political and civil rights would also necessitate the inclusion of these rights in the jurisdiction of the CHR..

Tinitingnan din po naming ang composition ng CHR. Ang gusto name,n dagdagan ang membership. Sino ang dapat idagdag? E di yung mga sector na laging naba-violate ang human rights nila (We are going to look into the composition of the CHR. We want to add to the membership. Who should be added? The sectors whose rights are always violated), Puno said over DZRH.

Concom member and former Senate President Aquilino Nene Pimentel Jr., who was also interviewed, said that the human rights of indigenous peoples (IPs) currently lacked attention.

Binabale wala na lang yung mga karapatang pantao. Very important na mabigyan ng adequate protection (Their human rights are being ignored. It's very important that we give them adequate protection), Pimentel said.

Puno agreed with Pimentel, stressing that the CHR needed members who represented the IPs.

Dapat siguro dito sa CHR may representative ang indigenous people dyan. Sino ang magre-represent sa mga mahihirap? Kung titingnan mo ngayon ang composition, walang representative yung mga poor people (The CHR should have a representative from indigenous people. Who will represent the poor? If you look at the current composition, the poor do not have a representative), Puno said.

Puno, meanwhile, explained that the mandate of the CHR is not limited to human-rights violations by agencies or elements of the state or government but should extend to those by non-state actors as well.

Unang-una, ang pagiisip ng ating mga kababayan ay itong Commission on Human Rights ay ang hinahabol lamang ay yung mga tauhan ng gobyerno na nagba-violate ng mga karapatan ng tao. Ngunit mali po 'yan e. (First, the impression of citizens about the Commission on Human Rights is going only after government officials who violate human rights. But that's wrong), Puno said.

The former chief justice said that although the CHR's main objective began as to protect citizen's rights from abuses by the state, it eventually evolved into something greater.

Totoo na noong una, ang objective 'nyan ay habulin ang gobyerno dahil ang kaisipan ay to protect against government interference. Pero 'pag nakita n'yo ang evolution, kahit ng political and civil rights, ay hindi lang gobyerno ang nagba-violate nyan � pati non-state actors (It's true that in the beginning, its objective was to go after the government because the thought is to protect against government interference. But when you look at the evolution, it's not only the government that violates political and civil rights--even non-state actors do), Puno explained.

Kanya ang dapat maging mandato ngayon nyan ay (that's why its mandate should be to) go after all violators, whether government or non-government actors, he added.

Puno also said that the Concom is studying how to strengthen the right to privacy.

Isa sa mga most violated rights ngayon ang right to privacy. At ito ay dahil sa malawak at mabilis na pagunlad ng technology (One of the most violated rights now is the right to privacy. And this is widespread and fast because of the advances of technology), Puno said.

Kaya kailangan mapag-aralan kung paano pabibigyan ng dagdag na protection sa Constitution ang right to privacy (That is why we need to review what we can do to enhance protection in the Constitution of the right to privacy), he added.

Previously, the Concom said that it will be including environmental and socioeconomic provisions in its forthcoming en banc sessions.(PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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