Issue of April 8, 2018

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CHR–CAR orients Kalinga residents on human rights
by Peter A. Balocnit / PIA

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Participants in a community-based dialogue on human rights issues have pushed that discussions with people in the grassroots level is the best step in making them understand this one side of human life that needs to be protected.

The dialogue was held recently at the Kalinga Provincial Police Office multi-purpose hall with law enforcers, the military, representatives of local government units, and members of the media.

Simeon Bentican from the provincial government said they welcome such activity so that stakeholders would understand  that respect for human rights should be a way of life, and should also help promote it.

“The provincial government fully supports efforts of government in promoting human rights,” he said.

“Even if marred by issues of alleged one-sided game, still we are on the side of the government stand – correcting wrong doings of state agents,” he added.

Cerilo Tega Jr., Balbalan municipal administrator, appealed to the Commission on Human Rights to help end peace disturbances caused by skirmishes between the New People’s Army and military in their place. 

Marlyn Palangdao of CHR-Cordillera assured they will conduct another dialogue in Balbalan soon, including a visit to the jail to know the conditions of inmates.

CHR Regional Director Romel Daguimol said the dialogue is a good start in building a good relationship, especially with the uniformed personnel who are mandated to protect life, property and dignity of Filipino citizens.

Tabuk City Administrator Lawrence Bayongan acknowledged that there is now a professionalized Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police, as there is no recorded human rights violation in Kalinga against these institutions at present.

He challenged the military and the police to continue to uphold human rights in order to gain the trust and confidence of the people.

“There should no repeat of the dark years of Martial Law when state agents abused their authority,” Bayongan said.

Major David Kimbo Guinid of the 50th  Infantry Battalion reported four cases of human rights violations allegedly committed by the NPA against the military in Kalinga during the first quarter of 2018.

He said even if the military is unjustly blamed for human rights violations, lessons on human rights are taught to soldiers during training.

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