CHR joins call to restore ‘rule of law’
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) called on the Philippine National Police and the Department of Justice to uphold their commitment in reviewing all alleged human rights abuses under the Duterte administration, after the country’s adherence to rule of law slid to its worst this year, according to a global index report.
In a statement, Jacqueline de Guia, spokesperson for the CHR, also called on the media “to continue documenting cases of abuse, just as we continue to investigate and call the national government for accountability.”
According to the latest World Justice Project global rule of law index, the Philippines slumped to 102nd among 139 countries, falling three more ranks from its global position last year.
Out of the perfect score of 1.0, the Philippines scored 0.48 in constraints on government powers, 0.44 in absence of corruption, 0.50 in open government, 0.39 in fundamental rights, 0.63 in order and security, 0.48 in regulatory enforcement, 0.45 in civil justice, and 0.31 criminal justice.
The Philippines’ dismal performance in the index started under the administration of President Duterte, whose governance is marked by allegations of human rights abuses.
De Guia, a lawyer, reminded the government that rule of law “rests on the four principles of accountability, just law, open government, accessible and impartial justice.”
“For many years, the CHR has expressed concerns over the increasing deaths in the campaign against illegal drugs. We have, in the past and present, continued to call for stronger law enforcement cooperation with the CHR and the government’s continued action in prosecuting those responsible for suspicious deaths under the war on drugs,” she said.
“It may be hard to reconcile how a country is perceived to be safe by its citizens but rank low on another survey commissioned focusing on the rule of law,” she added. “However, we cannot ignore that present realities on the ground coupled with the pandemic have changed the view of individuals.”
She called on the public to remain vigilant on, among others, the protection of press freedom and against moves calling for the reimposition of the death penalty. INQ
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