MANILA, Nov 25 (Mabuhay) — Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chair Chito Gascon on Friday said the body would closely monitor rights violations that may be caused by President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to terminate peace talks with the communist rebels.
“Dahil sa conflict-related yan, di siyempre in the course of ongoing conflict, there are cases of human rights violations that have been documented over the last 30, 40 years perpetrated by armed groups as well as armed forces,” Gascon said.
“If there will be an escalation of conflict, then necessarily we are concerned that there may also be an escalation of human rights violations so we will also have to monitor this very closely,” he added.
Gascon said the CHR supported the peace talks to minimize the effect of the conflict on civilians.
“We have always supported opportunities for political settlement of conflict so that people can focus on rebuilding their lives and asserting their rights in the context of armed struggle. Often it’s the people who are caught in the crossfire,” Gascon said.
The CHR chairman made the statement at the signing of an agreement for the provision of legal aid to victims of human rights violation with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
Gascon said the CHR would also continue to monitor the activity of police and their involvement in the government’s war on drugs even as crucial investigation records are withheld from the CHR. (MNS)