CHR calls for review of PNP operational rules

January 11, 2010 10:52 pm 

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, Jan. 11 – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is calling for review of Philippine National Police (PNP) operational procedures.

CHR said the review aimed to make such procedures "more responsive to and compliant with human rights requirements."

The review was part of its Resolution A2010-003, which recommended the indictment of 25 policemen who were allegedly involved in the Dec. 5, 2008 shootout in Paranaque City.

The CHR found multiple human rights violations during the shooting incident, which included the arbitrary killing of several civilians who were in the area where PNP mounted its operation to foil a gang's reported robbery attempt there that night.

PNP operatives' violations then also included failure to respect people's right to be presumed innocent, CHR Chairperson Leila de Lima said.

"The civilian victims were simply presumed to be suspects," she said Monday at a press conference during which CHR released its resolution on the incident.

Civilians Alfonso de Vera and his seven year-old daughter Lia Allana, Ronaldo Eusebio, Bernard Tungcab, Jessiery Basmayor and Arnel Macalawan were killed during the PNP operation that turned awry.

Given the violations, CHR noted policemen concerned went against Philippine constitutional provisions on protecting human rights.

Such violations also breached international human rights agreements that the Philippines signed with other nations, CHR said.

CHR's proposed review focuses on the protection of civilians during police operations nationwide.

The proposal also seeks "to highlight the paramount consideration that such interventions should be aborted at any sign of endangerment of civilian life."

CHR believes no police intervention operation, even that for protecting national security, warrant risking the lives of civilians. (PNA) RMA/CJT/utb

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