By NUP Melvin O Ragasa
Pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 9201, otherwise known as the National Human Rights Consciousness Week Act of 2002, which declared December 4 to10 of every year as the National Human Rights Consciousness Week in the country, the Philippine National Police joined the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and other government agencies in spearheading the weeklong celebration of the 2015 National Human Rights Consciousness Week (NHRCW) with the theme “Karapatang Pantao: Igalang, Ipagtanggol, Isakatuparan. ”
Kicking off the celebration, the National Headquarters and all Police Regional Offices displayed NHRCW streamers at the gates of their headquarters/offices/stations on December 1, 2015.
Moreover, the PNP leadership together with the 150,000 strong-PNP personnel and all government agencies renewed their oath of respect by simultaneously reciting the “Panata sa Karapatang Pantao” on December 7, 2015 during their respective Monday Flag Raising Ceremony with PCSUPT DENNIS A SIERVO, Chief, of the PNP Human Rights Affairs Office leading the “Panata” at the National Headquarters.
“These past few years, the government, the NGO and CSO communities, and human rights defenders have all made strides in advancing human rights work in our country. But the human rights journey, we can say, is never-ending. All of us, and those generations that will come after us, must remain eternally vigilant in institutionalizing respect for human rights as a way of Life in the PNP as a realization of the PNP P.A.T.R.O.L. Plan 2030”, PCSUPT SIERVO explained.
Further, multi-sectoral dialogues, mass sponsorships, inspection of PNP Custodial Facilities in all Police Regional Offices, and series of human rights and IHL trainings, as well as radio and TV guestings and interviews were included in the lineup of activities.
Meanwhile, the celebration culminated on December 10, 2015 which is the International Human Rights Day wherein the PNP joined the global commemoration of the 67th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with the theme “Our Rights, Our Freedoms, Always in a forum dubbed as “Gathering the Gains: Human Rights programs and Milestones of the Aquino Administration” which was held at the Diokno Hall of the Commission on Human Rights.
The NHRW Celebration aimed to increase public awareness on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations in 1948; promote respect and understand the rights proclaimed under the universal declaration in order to create a sustainable human rights culture in the country; and propagate, particularly among students, the culture of respect and awareness against child-abuse, among others.