In Nurturing a Shared Culture of Respect for Human Rights…
…Including the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples
The Philippine National Police joins the rest of the government agencies, civil society, and the entire country in the observance of the National Human Rights Consciousness Week (NHRCW) from the 5th of December 2022 until December 10, 2022, with the theme: “Pagtaguyod at pagsulong ng mga Karapatang Pantao tungo sa matatag na pundasyon ng Kapayapaan, Katarungan, Kalikasan, Kaunlaran, At Bayanihan,” coinciding with the 74th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The Universal Declaration was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on the 10th of December 1948, following the peroration of the Second World War. Said declaration was the first time that the league of nations agreed on the principles of inalienable human rights for every being regardless of the race, nationality, gender, and religion. It is founded to guarantee and protect the rights of every individual from around the globe.
On April 1, 2003, by the virtue of the Republic Act No. 9201, the Philippine government introduced the observance of the National Human Rights Consciousness Week, where both public and private institutions are mandated to not just join but spearhead the weeklong celebration to propagate, and to continue to educate the citizen to have a shared culture of respect for human rights relative to peace and nation building.
PNP Chief General Rodolfo S. Azurin, Jr., however, said that the Philippine government can take pride that PNP is very progressive in terms of human rights advocacy, where necessary mechanisms have been set into place to ensure that human rights are protected, and violators are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“By law and by demands of faith and morality, we, in the law enforcement are called upon to uphold civil, political, economic and socio-cultural rights. We do so, not only because the law demands it; we must uphold human rights simply because it is the right thing to do,” PGen Azurin underscored.
Among the highlights of the celebration were the recitation of the “Panunumpa Ng Kawani Ng Pamahalaan Bilang Tagapagtanggol Ng Karapatang Pantao,” which was accordingly led by Police Brigadier General Vincent S. Calanoga, the Chief of the Human Rights Affairs Office; followed by the recognition of the six PNP personnel who have contributed their precious time, knowledge, expertise, and resources in support to the PNP Human rights development program.
PGen Azurin also reminded all uniformed personnel that as police officers, they have the sworn obligation to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights as the core of the maintenance of peace and order, and in ensuring public safety, and upholding the rule of law in the country.
“Indeed, human rights are the first business of policing. As I have always emphasized, this is not just a sacred and cherished tradition, but a way of life in PNP. Thus, we, in PNP including the military and the government as a whole, are the true defenders of human rights,” PGen Azurin further added.
Also being awarded was Police Corporal Margarita Mabborang, as she emerged the winner of the Public Safety Savings and Loan Association Inc. (PSSLAI) Good Deeds Project. She received a plaque and Php50,000.00 cash from PSSLAI.
On Tuesday, December 6, 2022, Secretary Allen A. Capuyan, the Chairperson of the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), also visited the PNP Headquarters in Camp Crame to discuss opportunities for collaboration and support, and in forging active partnership for the implementation of important policies to successfully prevent human rights violations with the members of the indigenous people.
Secretary Capuyan was accompanied with other NCIP Executives and Directors who are coming from the Mindanao Indigenous People Council of Elders and Leaders (MIPCEL), Mindanao Indigenous People Youth Organization (MIPYO), and Mindanao Indigenous People Conference for Peace and Development (MIPCPD).
They were welcomed accordingly by the Chief of the Philippine National Police himself, who gave his one hundred percent assurance that PNP will uphold the highest form of respect most particularly, with the rights of the indigenous people relative to the performance of its sworn duties and responsibilities.
“Kinikilala ng PNP ang mahalagang papel na ginagampanan ng mga Katutubong Filipino sa paghubog ng ating pambansang kultura at pamana. Ang PNP ay buong galang na nagpupugay at nagpapasalamat sa mga Katutubong Filipino dahil sa kanilang mga naitulong sa atin sa pagpapalaganap ng kaayusan at kapayapaan sa mga komunidad,” PGen Azurin said.
The Mindanao Indigenous People Council of Elders and Leaders (MIPCEL), Mindanao Indigenous People Youth Organization (MIPYO), and the Mindanao Indigenous People Conference for Peace and Development (MIPCPD) comprise the third party in the whole of government/nation approach to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC).
The healing and reconciliation and operationalization of the 11 Building Blocks, namely: (1) Confirmation of Indigenous Political Structure (IPS); (2) Registration and accreditation of Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPO); (3) Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) and Certificate of Ancestral Land Title (CALT) delineation process; (4) Establishment of Ancestral Domain Management Office (ADMO); (5) Ancestral Domain Sustainable Development and Protection Plan (ADSDPP) formulation; (6) IP Wealth Management-Community Resource Management Development Plan (CRMDP) Formulation; (7) Institutionalization of Certificate of Precondition (CP), Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), and Exercise of Priority Rights (EPR); (8) Effective Indigenous Peoples Mandatory Representative (IPMR) in the local legislative bodies; (9) Efficient and enhanced MOA/MOU/MOC formulation; (10) Socio-economic activities with IP cooperatives; and (11) Ancestral Domain Defense System; and Workshops and Ancestral Domain Visitations, were the recent programs of the groups in partnership with NCIP.
The groups also aim to widen the communities’ understanding of the significance of operationalizing the 11 Building Blocks on the recognition, protection & promotion of the rights of indigenous peoples to all stakeholders for a resilient, relevant and responsive Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples (ICCs/IPs) as partners for nation building, peace, security, and development.
“The whole Philippine National Police joins the nation and NCIP on our shared goal of a genuine and lasting transformation and development. The PNP leadership assures everyone of a peaceful and orderly nation as we redefine our organization to better serve and protect the community, and ensure public safety and security,” said PGen Azurin.