ILOILO CITY – The Western Visayas Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF6-ELCAC) has reminded the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to be impartial when making pronouncements and not undermine the judicial processes and law enforcement agencies.
The task force, though its spokesperson Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Flosemer Chris Gonzales, issued the statement Sunday night in response to the pronouncement of CHR Commissioner Karen Dumpit that the National Capital Region office is conducting a probe on the service of warrant of arrest for the crime of rebellion to Ma. Salome Crisostomo Ujano in Malolos City, Bulacan on November 14.
“We are interested if CHR is also investigating the service of arrest warrants to other fugitives in the different parts of the country and if they are also closely monitoring the situations of all arrested fugitives in detention. It seems that Commissioner Dumpit has given special attention to Sally Ujano's case. We respectfully remind Commissioner Dumpit that Sally Ujano has a pending arrest warrant,” he said.
In the statement, he said the 64-year-old Ujano will be given her day in court.
“Let it be clear that Sally Ujano is innocent of the crime for which she is being charged unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt following a fair and impartial trial,” he said.
He added that RTF6-ELCAC disagreed with the statement of Dumpit that Ujano’s arrest and that of other human rights defenders is an “attack against their rights to organize, freedom of expression and right to defend their rights”.
Gonzales emphasized that Ujano was arrested due to rebellion charges and not because of her advocacy on women and children’s rights.
He said the human rights community is not just limited to those who are supporting Ujano as there are advocates for the rights of exploited children, indigenous peoples communities, families in conflict-stricken areas, and victims of atrocities and extortion of the Communist Party of the Philippines – New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) needing the “voice and representation” of the CHR.
“It is about time that our definition of human rights defenders be broadened and be made inclusive, to include particularly the individuals, advocates and groups fighting for the rights of the human rights abuse victims of the CPP-NPA terrorist organization,” he added.
The CPP-NPA is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the Philippines. (PNA)