Statement of CHR Executive Director, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the recent spate of violence perpetrated against women and killings across different localities in the country

Statement of CHR Executive Director, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the recent spate of violence perpetrated against women and killings across different localities in the country

The right to life is a natural right guaranteed to all individuals without distinction and goes beyond the rights to mere existence. From this basic entitlement, every individual has the corresponding rights to liberty and security from cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment.

It is most concerning that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has in recent weeks monitored an increase in abductions and incidents of gender-based violence (GBV) perpetrated against women and children and the increasing number of killings across different localities in the country.

To recall, industrial engineer Princess Dianne Dayor from Barangay Tikay, City of Malolos, was found dead on 05 July after being reported missing on 02 July. While Josie Bonifacio, 40, of Barangay Quirino, body was found on 09 August several hours after she was declared missing by her husband. Recently, on 23 August, the body of missing person Jovelyn Galleno surfaced after she was declared missing on 05 August and another rape-slay incident has occurred in Malabon.

CHR condemn perpetrators behind these incidents and we re-echo our call in our previous statement (), as is the call of Senator Imee Marcos and Gabriela party-list group Representative Arlene Brosas for law enforcers to immediately investigate and employ action in line with the government responsibility to protect women, children, and as duty-bearer under Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women. This is increasingly important as more children return to school with the resumption of face-to-face classes

We note that based on police reports, suspect/s in all four GBV incidents have already been apprehended. While police operations continue to investigate the foiled-abduction attempt of a minor in Caloocan, CHR shall conduct its separate inquiry through its NCR office.

As CHR investigations with regards to the killing of two minors in Laguna and Bulacan () continue. All other GBV cases mentioned above, are too being investigated by the CHR through its Regional Offices in Region II, III, IV-B, and financial assistance has been provided to the family of Princess Dayor and the minor killed in Bulacan.

Beyond the GBV cases CHR has taken cognizance of, equally concerning are the killings that led to the deaths of a couple on their way to a court hearing in Quezon, the shooting incident in Taguig, robbery slay of a in 16-year-old scholar in Barangay Bulacao, Cebu City and the still unclear manner of deaths of the Tiamzons in a military encounter.

Taking into account the possibility of similar cases and continued GBV cases that may occur, CHR welcomes the announcements of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to look into these killings and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) action for heightened police visibility as a deterrent to crime.

For the continue protection of the community, we ask the public to report suspicious incidents to the police and for the public to provide any relevant information to the disappearance of Rodrigo Catibog who remains missing for almost two weeks after his abduction in Barangay Buhangan in Lian town.

Government as duty-bearer has the responsibility to protect its citizens from harm, thus, CHR is hopeful that with the above-mentioned pronouncements by the DOJ and DILG will translate into tangible actions to deter crime and attain justice for victims through swift resolution of cases.