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CHR Decision on Fil-Am Activist Case to Perpetuate Impunity – Rights Groups

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Human rights group Karapatan said that with the CHR resolution, “the crime of torture will have its heyday under the Aquino administration.”

The Commission on Human Rights’s (CHR) report on the abduction of Filipino-American activist Melissa Roxas and two others has drawn criticisms from human rights groups.

Roxas, a member of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-USA chapter, and her two companions Juanito Carrabeo and John Edward Jandoc were forcibly taken by armed men on May 19, 2009 in La Paz, Tarlac. Roxas suffered torture for six days before she was freed by her captors. In her affidavit and subsequent testimonies before the CHR and Congress, Roxas maintained that her captors were members of the military.

In its recent findings, however, the CHR said there is insufficient evidence to support Roxas’s allegations that members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) took her and subjected her to physical and mental maltreatment.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) bewailed the CHR resolution saying it “practically clears” the military of any wrongdoing.

While the CHR resolution states that there is “enough evidence to find that complainant has suffered cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment or punishment by persons unknown,” it also states that there is insufficient evidence to support Roxas’s claim of torture because, according to the rights body, there was not enough evidence to determine the identities of the abductors.

Melissa Roxas testifies during the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) investigation on her abduction and torture in 2009.(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea / bulatlat.com)

 “In the light of the lack of evidence against the persons who inflicted the physical and psychological maltreatment on the complainant, it is not possible for the Commission to reach any findings on torture, the definition of which includes elements of State party or agent and certain intentions, purposes and motivations,” the CHR resolution said.

The same report states: “The CHR has received information that indicates the possibility that members of the NPA committed the kidnapping and other human rights violations on Roxas et al. These sources have been found to be credible. However, no specific names of individuals have been provided to the CHR, thus the Commission, with its limited resources, is unable to further follow up and identify specific persons as the possible perpetrators.”.... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2011/04/27/chr-decision-on-fil-am-activist-case-to-perpetuate-impunity-%e2%80%93-rights-groups/


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