NUJP says CHR resolution on Manila Pen standoff wanting

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines welcomes the resolution issued by the Commission on Human Rights that found violations in the “arrest, detention and processing” of journalists who covered the Nov. 29, 2007, Makati standoff.

We, however, found the resolution wanting.

Instead of recommending the filing of charges against those who violated the journalists’ rights, the CHR merely “referred” the case to the departments – the DILG and the PNP – whose personnel were accused of the violations for “internal” inquiry.

The human rights body also urged the Justice department to look into the matter.

But how can we expect a fair investigation by the Justice department when no less than Justice Sec. Raul Gonzalez prejudged the case when he issued an advisory urging media practitioners to “obey” authorities when it comes to incidents like the Manila Pen standoff?

We appreciate the CHR’s effort in looking into the incident and for providing us a studied opinion that could help us in pursuing our case against individuals and agencies that violated the rights of media practitioners.

The NUJP understands that the human rights body has no prosecutory powers, but we also believe that it could have made a stronger recommendation for the prosecution of those who violated the rights of our colleagues.

Jose Torres Jr., Chairperson
Sonny Fernandez, Secretary General

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