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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Speaker cited for supporting CHR Charter

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THE Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday lauded Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and the other lawmakers for supporting the “long-awaited and necessary” passage of the CHR Charter that seeks to strengthen, institutionalize and broaden the agency’s  mandate and capacity as the country’s national human rights institution.

The CHR thanked the representatives and the senators for “tirelessly advocating human rights.”

The bill would pave the way for the establishment of a national preventive mechanism to further promote, protect and advocate human rights works in the country.

Romualdez introduced House Bill No. 9790 or An Act Strengthening the CHR as an institution and for other purposes, along with Representatives Bienvenido Abante, Manuel Jose Dalipe, Ferdinand Alexander Marcos Jr., Yedda Marie Romualdez, and Jude Acidre.

Senator Robinhood Padilla authored Senate Bill No. 2440 or An Act Defining the Powers and Functions of CHR.    

Senator Manuel Lapid also filed SB 2487, with the common goal of strengthening the CHR.

“With the passage of the CHR Charter, we can strengthen our mandate to provide vital legal aid services, establish mechanisms for strategic litigation to ensure access to justice for victims of human rights violations, and advocate for the crucial bills required to protect human rights defenders and uphold the principles enshrined in our Constitution,” CHR chairperson Richard Palpal-latoc said.

“This essential legislation is more than just the Commission’s framework. It represents a collective commitment to protecting and upholding the rights and dignity of every individual in the country,” he added.

He cited the agency’s slogan “CHR ng Lahat (CHR of all).”

CHR Commissioner Faydah Maniri Dumarpa expresses her gratitude to the legislators for their utmost support. “I am grateful to our legislators for their unwavering dedication to advancing human rights through the adoption of the CHR Charter. Their commitment to this cause demonstrates a common goal of creating a more humane and just society, particularly for the vulnerable and marginalised. I hope that this is just one of many actions we will take as partners to support and protect human rights causes in the country,” she said.

We recognise our lawmakers’ efforts to work with the Commission to further institutionalise its mandate and promoting human rights in the country. Despite the limitations and challenges faced by the CHR in previous years, it was able to maintain its Status ‘A’ accreditation as an institution, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to human rights work, she added.

The Commission believes that an enabling law will pave the way for full independence and the clear establishment of its role as a government watchdog, monitor, advocate, and educator. CHR hopes that these bills will pass swiftly, establishing a stronger vision for a just and equitable nation that champions the rights of all, particularly the marginalised, vulnerable, and disadvantaged sectors, the agency said.

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