The Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) registers its strong opposition to the appointment of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile as the new chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights. It must be recalled that Enrile was a leading figure of the Martial Law Regime of the deposed President Ferdinand E. Marcos that exacted lives and committed numerous cases of human rights violations. His appointment is an a great insult to the victims of Martial Rule even as they have are still awaiting for the long-delayed justice on their cases.
His appointment showcases the Senate leadershipï¿½s insensitivity to the cause of human rights and justice. It is unthinkable to have somebody leading a prestigious committee whose records reveal otherwise. Enrile was the former Secretary of Defense and a close aide in crafting the declaration of Martial Law. His assumption to the committee leadership will not erase such records rather it would cast a cloud of doubt to the resolution of cases of human rights violations filled before this august body. His chairmanship spells degeneration rather than sustain democratic institutions which are the last recourse of people seeking for redress and justice.
In the light of this new development, the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates is calling on the Senate leadership to recall the appointment of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. Appoint member of the Senate to lead the Committee on Justice and Human Rights whose record would speak for the promotion, defense, protection and fulfillment of human rights. Only with this condition will people be empowered to respect, to have faith and confidence to the institution for human rights resolutions and justice.
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates
Wednesday, 13 September 2006