Human rights protection also covers men in uniform: Sen. Escudero

Senator Chiz Escudero scored the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for assailing the Senate report on the bloody Mamasapano incident as “mostly based on emotions rather than an objective interpretation of facts.”.

In a statement issued over the weekend, CHR Chairman Etta Rosales assailed the Senate report for calling the Mamasapano incident a “massacre,” which she termed as excessive.

“Does the CHR deem our government troops to have no human rights? What happened was a clear massacre. The dictionary defines massacre as ‘the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty,'” Escudero said. “Exactly how it happened to our SAF men in Mamasapano unless our CHR defines it in another term.”

Escudero, said the Senate has thoroughly went over the pieces of evidence presented to the panel.

The senator said that based on their findings, 34 out of the 44 SAF troopers were shot in the head at close range and were already injured or ran out of bullets when killed.

Escudero, one of the first lawmakers to describe the tragic Mamasapano incident as a massacre days after seeing a video circulating on the internet about the brutal killing of the 44 SAF troopers, said protection of human rights also covers the military and the police, and not just the civilians.

“Kapag sibilyan ang nasaktan, may human rights violations agad. Kapag military o pulis, ang tahimik nila. Human rights should always be respected under any circumstances that is why I am extremely disappointed that the CHR seems to have a tunnel vision about who abuses and who should be protected,” Escudero pointed out.

He also called on the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) to speak and move in behalf of the government and stop engaging the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the peace process.

“It is imperative for our negotiators to pursue efforts to finally find peace in Mindanao. But they should also give equal importance to the lost lives of our soldiers, to justice and due process of law,” Escudero said.#