CHR decries surveillance at Lumbera house

September 18, 2009 10:21 am 

MANILA, Sept. 18 – Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Chairperson Leila de Lima is alarmed at a navy serviceman’s reported surveillance of National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera’s house in Quezon City.

“This is a cause for serious concern if not alarm,” she said in statement released Friday.

She attributed this to possible human rights violation the incident triggered, noting navy serviceman Hannibal Guerrero’s surveillance compromised privacy and security of the Lumberas.

The navy already clarified Guerrero conducted the surveillance as part of his training under its personnel intelligence course.

De Lima finds such explanation as “not plausible,” however.

”If it’s simply a hypothetical training, why involve actual addresses and innocent civilians?” she asked.

She also said it’s “too much of a coincidence that the subject of surveillance this time is one involved in protest actions relative to the National Artists award scandal.”

”If the training claim is true, still it’s highly objectionable as it opens risks of rights to privacy,” she continued.

To avoid similar future occurrences, de Lima urged government to be “very conscious” about respecting and protecting people’s rights.

”Training exercises should be designed in such a way that no possible violations can happen,” she said. (PNA)



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