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PIA Press Release

CHR strengthens witness protection program

Cagayan de Oro City (25 May) -- The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has the constitutional mandate to investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights; and adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure.

For the Commission to successfully prosecute human rights violation cases, it should encourage witnesses to testify by offering them protection and assistance before, during and even after the judicial and / or administrative proceedings.

With the increasing incidence of extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other violations of human rights, the CHR sees the necessity to strengthen its Witness Protection Program (WPP) to assist willing witnesses and help prosecute human rights violators / offenders.

The CHR WPP is a line program of the Commission vital to the effective performance of its constitutional mandate.

To successfully implement it, witnesses need to be afforded utmost protection and assistance inasmuch as their security to life could be endangered and or threatened resulting for having testified in the investigation and or prosecution of human rights violation cases.

Besides their inherent right to life, these witnesses must be protected by law from any form of force, violence, torture, threat, intimidation or other means which vitiate their free will.

Through strengthening the CHR WPP, the Commission seeks to provide protection and assistance to any witness whose testimony and possession of documents are of vital importance to the investigation and / or prosecution of human rights violation cases.

Specifically, to instill in the witness the necessary confidence and exercise of free will in his / her role as witness; and to provide different types of assistance desired under varying status and conditions of witnesses. (Commission on Human Rights) [top]

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