CHR: MSU bombing disrupts peacebuilding, counters humanitarian law

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

December 5, 2023, 12:04 pm

MANILA – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday condemned the bombing at the gymnasium of Mindanao State University (MSU) in Marawi City, which claimed 4 lives and injured 50 over the weekend.

In a statement, the CHR said such incidents of violence sow fear among people, disrupts all efforts in peacebuilding, especially in places of worship and learning, and contradict the principles of international humanitarian law.

"To note, this bombing comes at a time when we are observing the Mindanao Week of Peace. We call out the perpetrators for their obvious dismissal of the shared responsibility to preserve human dignity and to respect the call in defense of human rights," it said.

The CHR in Northern Mindanao has launched a quick response operation and will provide assistance to the victims’ families as needed.

It aims to monitor and investigate allegations of human rights violations including those committed by non-state actors and armed groups.

Citing Article 14, Section 1 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the CHR noted that education is a fundamental human right of all and any attack on schools and places of learning is an attack on Filipinos' collective aspirations to build a better and brighter society.

The commission also said violence perpetrated in the pursuit of religious beliefs is not only a violation of the principle of coexistence but also a stain on the reputation of faith communities around the world.

"We are in one with the national government in contributing towards the resolution of this incident," it said. (PNA)