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Strengthening Human Rights Protection and Promotion in the Bangsamoro
Monday, July 16, 2018
The Regional Human Rights Commission, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RHRC, ARMM) lauds our legislators and members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC in their efforts to retain in the basic law the mandates of the RHRC as the human rights institution in the Bangsamoro. The Bicameral Conference Committee agreed to adopt and incorporate Section 16 of RA 9054; into the Bangsamoro Basic Law, subject to styling.
While we commend this development, RHRC on the other hand, remains firm and advances the stand for an expanded Commission by increasing the number of members of the commission from three (3) to five (5) members in order to adequately respond to the demands of human rights concerns in the Bangsamoro, as well as to have adequate representation in the Commission.
Also, we put forward the position that the Regional Human Rights Commission should continue to operate during the transition and pending the creation of the BHRC Otherwise, there would be a vacuum in the delivery of human rights services in the Bangsamoro during the interregnum.
The RHRC remains steadfast in its support to strengthen the autonomy of the Bangsamoro People and of strengthening human rights protection and promotion in the Bangsamoro.
Article Ill, Section 16, RA 9054 ARTICLE Ill. GUIDING PRINCIPLES AND POLICIES
Section 16. Human Rights Commission. - There is hereby created a Regional Human Rights Commission. The chair and two commissioners of the commission shall be appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Regional Governor. The composition of the commission shall reflect the ethnic distribution of the population of the autonomous region. The chair shall be a lawyer and shall be a resident of the autonomous region. The two commissioners shall, preferably, be lawyers or, at least, holders of bachelor degrees from colleges or universities recognized by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports of the central government or national government.
The Regional Human Rights Commission shall perform within the autonomous region, the functions of the commission on human rights of the central government or national government. Decisions of the commission may be appealed to the Court of Appeals on questions of law.
Initially, the Regional Assembly shall fix the salaries, perquisites and privileges of the chair and the commissioners of the Commission at a level not lower than those fixed for the chair and members of the National Labor Commission. The Commission may provide additional functions to enhance and protect the human rights of all the people in the autonomous region. Thereafter, subject to availability of funds, the Regional Assembly may raise the salaries, perquisites, and privileges of the chair and commissioners.