Oliva: CHR helps hu­man rights vic­tims in marginal­ized sec­tors

Cebu Daily News - - NEWS - /CORRES PONDENT MOREXET T E MARIE B. ER­RAM

HU­MAN rights not only per­tain to vic­tims of the war on il­le­gal drugs, said Man­daue City Trea­surer Re­gal Oliva, a staunch ad­vo­cate of LGBT (Les­bian, Gay, Bi­sex­ual and Trans­gen­der) rights. In her Face­book page, she re­ported that two trans­gen­ders were vic­tims of abuse by law en­forcers, to show that hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions are not only done on vic­tims of the war against drugs, but also the marginal­ized sec­tors.

“When it comes to hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions, it’s not en­tirely about those who are in­volved in the il­le­gal drugs trade. The pur­pose of CHR (Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights) was to help and as­sist vic­tims of hu­man rights from the marginal­ized sec­tors, and the LGBT com­mu­nity still re­mains one,” Oliva told CDN.

Oliva said two trans­gen­ders were ha­rassed and forcibly de­tained by Cebu City po­lice­men in Septem­ber, 2015 be­cause they were sus­pected to be pros­ti­tutes.

“One of the trans­gen­der wom- en tried to run as she was so ter­ri­fied. The po­lice got hold of her arm and twisted it. A loud crack was heard and in an in­stant, the bone of her arm was bro­ken. The other who stayed, frozen in fright was bru­tally at­tacked — punched, kicked, her hair pulled as she was dragged to the po­lice ve­hi­cle on standby,” said Oliva on her Face­book sta­tus posted last Tues­day morn­ing.

Oliva said the po­lice also filed com­plaints of phys­i­cal in­juries against the trans­gen­der women, who re­quested Oliva not to dis­close their iden­ti­ties to any­one. To prove their in­no­cence, the vic­tims sought help from the re­gional of­fice of CHR in Cen­tral Visayas.

“CHR gave fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to both of them, and vowed to as­sist their case. Which they did. The money from CHR helped them to post bail be­cause they were de­tained,” Oliva added.

But the cases were dis­missed be­fore any trial could take place, the gen­der ad­vo­cate said.

“What these two women went through is re­ally piti­ful,” Oliva told CDN.

She also said that the two trans­gen­ders re­fused to file com­plaints against the of­fi­cers who “il­le­gally ar­rested” and harmed them, cit­ing the ab­sence of any wit­nesses dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

“The CHR was bent on en­cour­ag­ing the vic­tims to file a case against the po­lice­men, but the women feared for their safety, and also it would be te­dious for them to pur­sue le­gal ac­tions be­cause they can­not pro­duce any wit­ness to tes­tify against the of­fi­cers,” said Oliva.

O li va, who de­nounced the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives’ de­ci­sion to slash the CHR bud­get to P1,000 also said there are more sto­ries sim­i­lar to the one she re­ferred to in her Face­book sta­tus.

“There are many more sto­ries like these. And the CHR is there to help them … And as­sure vic­tims that the rule of law must be up­held against abuses of pub­lic of­fi­cers run­ning State af­fairs. But with a con­temptible P1,000 bud- get … how can we ex­pect to be pro­tected by the very State who must have as­sured us that our Hu­man Rights ought to be of para­mount im­por­tance?” Oliva added.

OLIVA

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