Oliva: CHR helps human rights victims in marginalized sectors
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.