CHR urges gov’t: Put up measures that protect human rights lawyers
Following the killing of a human rights lawyer in Negros Occidental on Tuesday, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has called on the government to come up with measures to ensure the safety of human rights lawyers.
The CHR called on the government on Wednesday to act with urgency on hunting down the killers of Atty. Ben Ramos, founding member and secretary-general of National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)-Negros, who was gunned down by two men riding-in-tandem in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.
“We call on the government to act with urgency in pinning down the perpetrators of this violence and proceed with active measures that would protect the safety of human rights defenders who continue to serve this country’s most vulnerable and marginalized,” CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said in a statement.
The CHR also expressed concern on the continuing violence against human rights defenders in the country, with the death of Ramos as the latest addition to the incidents reported.
Last April, Ramos was tagged as a member of the Communist Party of the Philippines in a poster that circulated in Negros Occidental.
The CHR said that regardless of Ramos’ affiliations, he “continues to be a human and a Filipino whose rights was supposed to be protected by the government, including his right to life.”
The human rights group’s chapter in Region IV said they have already sent a quick response team to investigate the case through their sub-office in Bacolod City.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered an immediate investigation into Ramos’ death.
“I have already ordered for the immediate conduct of investigation to resolve this incident,” Western Visayas Regional Director Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao said in a statement Wednesday.
Bulalacao assured the victim’s family that they would ensure the immediate arrest of the suspects, and they will give an update if the investigation is completed.
“We assure the family of the victim of a thorough investigation to ensure the immediate arrest of the perpetrators so that justice will be served to the victim and his family,” he said. “We will provide update once investigation has been completed.”
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