@HRW_ph statement on Malacanang’s reaction to human-rights video

Human Rights Watch issued the following statement on the reaction by Malacanang to the video released the other day.

We recognize that the convictions of human rights abusers rest with the courts, and not the President, but the absence of successful prosecutions highlights broader problems that do rest with the administration. Most cases of serious human rights violations do not even make it to trial. Police still fail to follow up and actually arrest suspects. The military continues to obstruct investigations. Even in the case against retired General Palparan, where we praised the administration for bringing charges, not enough is being done to bring him to custody so that he can receive a fair trial.

And the problem isn’t just about specific cases. There’s a lot more President Aquino can do to address systematically the barriers to successful prosecutions. He should order the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate police and military personnel, including at the command level, who have been implicated in killings. He should order the police to re-double efforts to investigate abuses implicating government officials and if they do not thoroughly investigate, face criminal investigations themselves. He should order the military to cooperate with civilian authorities investigating military abuses or themselves face sanctions. And he should take immediate steps to ensure that the country’s witness protection program is independent, accessible, and properly funded.

As President Aquino himself pointed out, fair trials that result in the convictions of those implicated in abuses is the true test of his commitment to his promise. So the government needs to move beyond simply identifying suspects and obtaining warrants to actually apprehending the suspects, gathering evidence, and providing protection to witnesses to allow them to come forward. Once that happens we can expect the trial to take care of itself.

Elaine Pearson
Deputy Director, Asia Division
Human Rights Watch

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 12 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and media literacy and over 22 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good.

She is a co-founder and a member of the editorial board of Blog Watch . She is a resource speaker on media literacy, social media , blogging, digital citizenship, good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and cyber safety.

Her personal blogs such as aboutmyrecovery.com (parenting) , pinoyfoodblog.com (recipes), techiegadgets.com (gadgets) and beautyoverfifty.net (lifestyle), benguetarabica.coffee keep her busy outside of Blog Watch.

Disclosure:

I am an advocate. I am NOT neutral. I will NOT give social media mileage to members of political clans, epal, a previous candidate for the same position and those I believe are a waste of taxpayers’ money.

I do not support or belong to any political party but I am a volunteer for senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares. I am also voting for #OtsoDiretso plus two :Neri Colmenares and Leody de Guzman

She was a Senior Consultant for ALL media engagements for the PCOO-led Committee on Media Affairs & Strategic Communications (CMASC) under the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council from January 4 -July 5, 2017. Having been an ASEAN advocate since 2011, she has written extensively about the benefits of the ASEAN community and as a region of opportunities on Blog Watch and aboutmyrecovery.com.

Organization affiliation includes Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation

Updated April 20, 2019

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