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No prosecutorial powers for CHR

/ 06:05 AM April 11, 2018

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) was not keen on being given prosecutorial powers, according to the consultative committee formed by President Duterte to review and recommend changes to the 1987 Constitution.

CHR Chair Jose Luis Martin Gascon, in a presentation to the committee last week, said giving prosecutorial powers to the CHR would complicate things.

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“The question is who will watch the watchdog?” said Gascon.

He offered options to instead strengthen mechanisms to protect human rights in a new charter.

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These included creating a special section in the Department of Justice’s National Prosecution Service dedicated to prosecuting human rights cases and bringing them to courts specializing on human rights.

The consultative committee, chaired by former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, clarified that its discussions did not include the grant of prosecutorial powers to the CHR. —Jerome Aning

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