Abolition of the Commission of Human Rights. Why or why not?

The CHR, created under the 1987 Constitution, was tasked to investigate all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights. It is embedded in our constitution in relation to the International Humanitarian Laws and other laws governing human rights.

The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, in Section 18 Article XIII says simply that there must be a creation of an independent constitutional office with the primary purpose of investigating all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights in the Philippines. If we are to abolish it [i.e. CHR]; it could be considered unconstitutional unless the President or any higher power calls for a change in our constitution or an amendment in the constitution, which I believe many Filipinos are not in favor of.

In addition, it will also deprive citizens of their right to due process and be heard in the court of law through initial investigation against a crime created by the government. If it were to be abolished, then it would deprive the Filipinos of the first step towards getting justice from the State. Given the assumption that the government and its people are not perfect, there must be effective checks and balances to ensure that the administration does its job.

The CHR is one of those checks and balances. The non-existence of such agency can create a lack of any investigation towards any crime committed by the government; legal measures to protect Filipino human rights can cease to exist.

However, the current CHR we have in our country is biased and have a preferential treatment on choosing who to apply the Human Rights. If there will be no CHR, nobody will scrutinize the central government regarding their approach on human rights unless the government itself will be transparent in dealing with anti-government entities particularly the loud EJK of the government which is very impossible. In addition, the CHR provides appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measures and legal aid services to the under-privileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection

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