THE NATIONAL human rights alliance, KARAPATAN, dared the Commission on Human
Rights (CHR), chaired by Aquino-appointee Etta Rosales, to dismiss CHR Special Investigator III Jess Cañete in Negros Oriental for violating theParis Principles adopted by the United Nations in human rights.
“The key elements of the composition of a national institution for human rights are its independence and pluralism. Jess Cañete, as a CHR official, is clearly not fit for the job. He is biased, partial and even malicious in the performance of his supposed duty,” said Dennis Abarrientos, Secretary
General of Karapatan – Central Visayas.
Special Investigator III Cañete gloated in a Philippine News Agency story that Karapatan is “pathetic” in filing charges against government officials and that it leave Negros Oriental and stay in Negros Occidental.
Karapatan filed criminal and administrative charges against Cañete together with officials of the 11th IB of the Philippine Army, formerly headed by Lt. Col. Nemesio Franco Gacal, members of the Philippine National Police, and village officials of Linantuyan, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. The case was dismissed by Overall Deputy Ombudsman Orlando Casimiro.
Cañete is known to side with the AFP, PNP and government officials in on-going counter-insurgency operations in Negros Oriental.
A case in point was the strafing incident on January 25, 2009 at the house of the Pableo family in Bgy. Panubigan, Canlaon City, involving the PNP and the 11th IBPA, which killed two civilians and wounded four others. There were four children inside the house when troops opened fire. Their mother,
Beverly Pableo, succumbed to fatal bullet wounds while their father, Porfirio, was arrested and is still detained to this date. Cañete, then a CHR investigator, reported that the incident was a “legitimate encounter” and charged Karapatan for “obstruction of justice”. Cañete even told the PNP to file charges against Karapatan but the case was later dismissed by the Kanlaon regional trial court.
“CHR chair Rosales should look into these cases where the CHR itself is being used to commit human rights violations. We are also reporting this to the International Coordinating Committee (ICC),” Abarientos said.
The ICC is a representative body for the purpose of creating and strengthening national human rights institutions in conformity with the Paris Principles.
“Cañete’s obsessive habit of praising the military, discourages the victims of human rights violations to come in the open. They perceive Canete as biased for the AFP whom victims accuse as perpetrators and violators of their rights,” concluded Abarientos. ###