CHR investigates deaths of student in Cavite, barangay councilor in Bulacan
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday decried the deaths of a student inside her dorm in Cavite, as well as the killing of a barangay official in Bulacan, saying that it will investigate both.
College student Leanne Duguesing was found dead in her dormitory in Dasmariñas City on March 28, and the day after, Barangay councilor Aldrin Santos was gunned down in Sta. Maria, Bulacan. While not connected, the CHR condemned the persistence of violence.
“As the country’s national human rights institution, CHR strongly condemns the increasing prevalence of violence in our communities. We stress that violence, in any form, undermines human dignity, erodes social stability, and violates individuals’ fundamental human rights. It is particularly troubling that certain groups, such as women, children, minorities, and even government officials, have recently been the most targeted,” the Commission said in a statement.
The CHR has launched independent “motu proprio investigations” of the two incidents. While police authorities have captured the suspect in Duguesing’s case, Santos’ killer remains unidentified.
“CHR underscores that these incidents should not be taken lightly. The State, as primary duty bearers, must prioritize the protection of all Filipinos through impartial law enforcement and justice systems that ensure full accountability against perpetrators. We call on community and national leaders, policymakers, and officials to take concrete steps to prevent and address these acts of violence in our communities,” said the CHR.
Following these deaths, the Commission urged the public to remain vigilant and report cases of violence and abuse to authorities.
In March, the CHR also probed the string of violence against women and children. One of the cases investigated was the killing of four children in Cavite.
“The Commission reminds all that it is our collective responsibility to work towards creating a culture of peace and respect for human rights. But it is only by addressing the root causes of violence from complex social, economic, and political factors that we can genuinely create a safer and more just society, where all Filipinos can enjoy their human rights and live in dignity,” said the CHR.