DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Human rights group Karapatan, while welcoming the pilot monitoring hub for the compliance of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) here, said on Monday, October 2, it should include cases of extrajudicial killings of activists.
The CARHRIHL-Compliance Mindanao, which is based at the Regional Prosecution Office here, will receive complaints against non-compliance with the CARHRIHL. It will share the complaints with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) monitoring committee for information, substantiation and possible legal action.
“We welcome the setting up of the new monitoring station and we hope this will be inclusive in monitoring cases of CARHRIHL violations not just those done by the enemies of the government but also the cases of killings of activists,” Karapatan Southern Mindanao Spokesperson Jay Apiag said in an interview.
The group have recorded 50 cases of killings of activists in Davao region since President Rodrigo Duterte was elected as president last year, Apiag said.
Karapatan-SMR’s matrix on killings of activists in Davao region shows 43 cases were recorded from January to September this year, while there were seven cases of killings last year.
“It remains a challenge for the government to prove that they are sincere to the implementation of the CARHRIHL, as we see that cases involving soldiers and police take too long or do not prosper at all,” he said.
The group will file cases before the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) monitoring committee “once we see their sincerity of probing and prosecuting government forces linked to the killings.”
Apiag said they have continuously filed complaints before the NDFP’s monitoring committee to probe the cases mostly involving government forces.
Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza said the launching of the monitoring hub is an “implementation mechanism” of the agreement signed between the government and the NDFP in 1998.
Dureza said on Friday, September 29, they hope the mechanism will provide a better atmosphere for the resumption of the stalled talks between the government and the communists.
The government said it will put up 9 other monitoring stations at conflict-affected areas in the country. (davaotoday.com)