CHR: No basis in detaining journalists during Nov 29 standoff

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights said Monday there was no basis to justify the arrest and detention of several journalists during the Nov. 29, 2007 standoff at The Peninsula Manila hotel in Makati City.

In a news briefing, CHR chair Leila de Lima said some violations were committed during the arrest and processing of media personalities in the aftermath of the six-hour standoff between government forces and the group of Army Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and the Magdalo led by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

In one of its resolutions, the CHR recommended that the case be “referred to the Department of the Interior and Local Government and to the Philippine National Police for internal inquiry and for filing of proper administrative disciplinary cases and measures applied to proper persons.”

The said resolution also urged the “Department of Justice to pursue further investigations and filing of proper cases as to violations of the Revised Penal Code and special laws on the rights of persons detained.”

The resolutions issued by the CHR could strengthen the case to be appealed by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

But the press watchdog says the resolution may not be enough.

“We laud the resolution issued by the CHR but the resolution is not enough. We urge the CHR to file a case before the prosecutor’s office so that it will not just be a toothless body,” said NUJP chair Jose Torres Jr. – Sophie Dedace, GMANews.TV

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