|Commission members on high-level fact-finding mission at Hacienda Luisita.|
AFP, PNP, DOLE, Strikers and Hacienda Management Subpoenaed
December 16, 2004
A marathon public inquiry which started yesterday December 15, 2004 is being undertaken by the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP) on the violent dispersal of strikers at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac that transpired on November 16, 2004.
The said inquiry is an exercise of the CHR's mandate to promote, protect and fulfill the human rights of all Filipinos and its authority to investigate on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights.
Witnesses have been invited to come by CHR to shed light on the matter. Yesterday, Law Enforcers from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) were present to answer investigation and to act as witnesses. Today, representatives from the Hacienda Luisita Management, officials from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), and the laborers of Hacienda Luisita are scheduled to discuss with the CHR Commission En Banc headed by Chairperson Purificacion C. Valera Quisumbing with Commissioners Eligio P. Mallari, Wilhelm D. Soriano, Quintin B. Cueto III and Dominador N. Calamba II.
General Quirino Dela Torre of PNP, Brig. Gen. Romeo Domingo of the AFP, Supt. Maria Hadjula of the Bureau of Fire Protection and other concerned law enforcers were made to explain the presence of the Bureau of Fire at the dispersal and its capability to provide peace and order. Exhaustive inquiry is likewise being made to define maximum tolerance so as to know the right time of its application.
Among those present today is Undersecretary Manuel M. Imson of DOLE.
The CHR will be issuing its resolution after this public inquiry.
Chairperson Purificacion C. Valera Quisumbing on behalf of the Commission Congratulates Secretary Raul M. Gonzales, Chairperson of the Presidential Human Rights Committee for its resolution recommending to President Arroyo the Issuance of of a Memorandum Order on the formulation of a National Action Plan on Human Rights (NAP-HR).
The Chair said that the Commission will support the proposal on the creation of a Task Force for the Formulation of a National Action Plan in Human Rights II or any inter-branch body for the purpose although with reservations on the designation of the CHRP as chair of the body as provided in the Memorandum Order drafted by the PHRC Secretariat.
Chairperson Quisumbing offers CHRP technical services in the finalization of the Presidential Memorandum Order on the creation of said Task Force.