Human rights advocacy IS a biased endeavor

But when cops kill 4 drug suspects in a raid, the official presumption is that it was done in the regular course of law enforcement. The police, NBI and DOJ usually turn a blind eye to the possibility that the rights of the victims were violated. The victims are branded as drug users or pushers and subject to public vilification. In such a situation, it is crucial for human rights bodies to check for possible human rights abuses by the police. Otherwise, they could easily get away with it.

To reiterate, when a suspected criminal, terrorist or rebel violates our rights, it is automatically considered a crime and the entire machinery of the state is mobilized to go after the perpetrators. But when a law enforcer violates our rights, regularity is presumed and government agencies often ignore or even cover up human rights violations. Thus the need for the CHR and human rights organizations to focus on suspected state-perpetrated violations.

This explains the “bias” of human rights advocacy. It is biased towards documenting and reporting on state-perpetrated human rights violations because these are the ones that are often ignored or covered up by the authorities.

So when people accuse the CHR and human rights organizations of being biased, it means they're actually doing their job. –

Teddy Casiño served as the party-list representative of Bayan Muna for 3 terms, from 2004 to 2013. Prior to his stint in Congress, he was secretary-general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan and a columnist for BusinessWorld.