CHR sets to investigate 200 possible human rights violation cases

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MANILA—The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday said their office would look into some 200 Covid-19-related alleged human rights violation (HRV) cases perpetrated either by persons in authority or private individuals since the enhanced community quarantine was declared more than 40 days ago.

Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, CHR spokesperson said during an interview monitored by Sandigan News and Banat Pilipinas News, that these cases may include: the shooting incident of a former soldier with mental illness during an altercation at a Covid-19 checkpoint in Quezon City; the verbal abuse and reported violation of quarantine guidelines leading to forcible arrest by a responding police officer of a foreigner in a posh Makati subdivision; and, the mauling incident of an ambulant vendor by barangay tanods in Manila.

“Yes, tutulong tayo sa biktima sa usapin na ito at nagpapasalamat din ako ng gobyerno at ni DILG Secretary Eduardo Año na nagsabi na ang lahat ay alinsunod sa batas at in accordance with human rights standards. Mayroon tayong mga abogado ngayon, mayroon tayong e-lawyering na programa na tutukok sa kasong ito,” Atty. De Guia said.

The lady lawyer was alluding to the alleged mauling incident of an fish vendor by members of the barangay tanods, which was caught on video.  The video clippings also showed the vendor being carried and dragged like an animal inside a waiting police vehicle after the incident.

“We are not against the punishment of a wrong committed.  Sa amin lang sana in accordance with the law, hindi sumobra, hindi ‘yong sariling punishment na inimbento nila,” Atty. De Guia said.  She continued that the Covid-19 crisis is a health issue and not a peace and order measure.  “Dapat matandaan ng law enforcers na health issue ito at hindi tungkol sa peace and order, at tandaan nila na ang purpose ng quarantine ay to save lives,” she further said. 

Meanwhile, the CHR on Wednesday issued a statement reminding hospital personnel that every person has an equal right to health and has the right to receive appropriate medical care devoid of any discrimination.  The commission denounced the reported refusal of some medical facilities in the country to administer immediate treatment to patients not infected with the novel coronavirus.

It was learned that last week, Catherine Bulatao died of blood loss after she was turned away by six hospitals for an operation to remove the placenta from her womb after giving birth at her home in Caloocan.  In March, another senior citizen from Nueva Ecija who was suffering from asthma also died after being denied treatment from several hospitals.