Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar

Young Filipinos must be taught about human rights protection

December 12, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 214 views

FORMER Philippine National Police chief-turned 2022 senatorial candidate Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday said that observance and protection of human rights must be taught even among young schoolchildren so they could be well-educated on the matter as they grow up.

“Teach them young, show them how it’s done,” said the Partido Reporma senatorial candidate of another former PNP chief-turned Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ M. Lacson who is seeking the presidency in next year’s polls.

According to senatorial aspirant Eleazar, the improvement of human rights in the Philippines is also about having more leaders who would stand up for what is just right in order to teach the young generation to do the same.

“Ang konsepto ng human rights ay nakapaloob sa kaugalian nating mga Pilipino tungkol sa pakikisama at pakikipag-kapwa tao na itinuturo naman mula sa ating pagkabata,” said the member of Philippine Military Academy ‘Hinirang’ Class of 1987.

“Ang kailangan lamang ngayon ay maipakita sa mga bata at mga kabataan na hindi mali at huwag matakot na manindigan para dito because this is what define us as Filipinos,” he stressed.

Eleazar made the statement when asked about his point of view on the subject matter during the celebration of the International Human Rights Day.

As the country’s 26th PNP chief, Eleazar surprised everybody when he opened the documents on police operations relating to the campaign against illegal amid allegations of human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings.

This eventually led to the creation of the joint PNP-National Bureau of Investigation Joint Investigating Team that was tasked to look into and build a case on an initial 52 cases, involving 154 policemen which were earlier flagged by the PNP Internal Affairs Service for possible violations of Police Operational Procedures.

Aside from teaching the younger generations about the importance of respect to human rights, Eleazar pointed out the need to strengthen accountability against those who violate the provisions of human rights laws.

“Marami ng batas tungkol sa human rights at napakarami ngang provisions tungkol sa human rights sa ating Konstitusyon,” he said.

“Ang kailangan natin ngayon ay palakasin ang implementation natin sa pamamagitan ng accountability sa mga taong babastos sa mga batas na ito at pagkakaroon ng mas maraming lider na rerespeto at titiyaking naipapatupad ng tama ang mga ito,” he added.

Elezar maintained that while the Philippine Constitution states that educational institutions should inculcate respect for human rights in their curricula, its implementation could be further developed to suit the current changes in the learning environment now.

Eleazar said he personally understands the importance of inculcating human rights to every citizen as the PNP, an organization which he served for more than 30 years, has been accused of committing rights abuses.

To address this, the retired police general said he will push for a stronger collaboration between the security sector and the Commission on Human Rights as well as other rights advocates.

He said human rights education should also be strengthened in the education of law enforcers to ensure that they are reminded of their sworn duty to serve and protect the Filipinos and the country.

Eleazar said he would also pursue a more comprehensive anti-discrimination measure to complement his plan of strengthening human rights education in learning institutions and at the same time propose measures that will protect human rights defenders in the country.