CHR praises PNP for ban on presenting suspects to media
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) gave the Philippine National Police (PNP) a rare thumbs up for finally implementing a 10-year-old policy banning cops from presenting criminal suspects to the media.
"The Commission welcomes the directive of PNP Chief Albayalde not to present persons deprived of liberty to the media which conforms with a CHR advisory issued in the past," the CHR said in a statement on Wednesday, June 13.
The constitutional body said halting the presentation of suspects to the media "is in consonance with human rights standards particularly on due process and presumption of innocence."
In a post on Facebook, the CHR further expressed its approval of the move by stamping "OK!" over the implementation of the policy.
The CHR had reminded the PNP of the policy in an advisory dated in 2015, but the PNP only implemented it now, under its new chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde.
The PNP recently decided to follow the 2008 memorandum circular issued by then PNP chief Jesus Verzosa, which banned the presentation of suspects to the media as this violated the latter's human rights.
The order dated October 2008 cited the Philippine Constitution in its policy guidelines.
"The presentation of the suspects to the media is not only violative of their constitutional rights of presumption of innocence, but also their human rights subjecting them to unwanted publicity," the Versoza memo said.
Despite the policy, however, the police and government agencies continued to present suspects at media conferences. New PNP public information chief and spokesperson Benigno Durana, who had served under Versoza, reminded Albayalde about the unimplemented policy.
Those who violate the rule face administrative and even criminal charges. – Rappler.com