More Courts for Illegal Drug Cases – CHR Epres – Manila Bulletin

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Commissioner of the CDH Beda A. Epres

The new Commissioner for Human Rights, Beda A. Epres, believes that the government, through the Supreme Court (SC), should appoint additional special courts to deal with illegal drug cases.

This is one of the recommendations made by Commissioner Epres during his speech at the 51st Regular Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) – Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Philippines currently taking place in Geneva. , in Swiss.

Epres, the first appointed Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), shared with the statement of the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Jesus Crispin C. Remulla, the approach of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on the war on illegals. drugs.

Remulla, in his speech to the HRC session, said President Marcos wanted to quell the “source” of illegal drugs and insisted on the need for rehabilitation, education and assistance for drug addicts. Epres accepted.

“The CHR welcomes Senate Bill 48 which seeks to establish a drug treatment and rehabilitation center in each province,” Epres said in his speech.

“In further improving the bill, we remind the government of the 2015 consensus in the East and Southeast Asia region, as well as the joint UN statements in March 2012 and June 2020, calling for the closure of compulsory in-house treatment centers for drug addiction. use, and instead invest in, voluntary community approaches,” he said.

Epres also highlighted the problem of overcrowding and congestion in detention centers. In order to address this problem, he said the government’s campaign against illegal drugs must address delays in the administration of justice.

He stressed that speedy resolution of cases should be a priority, especially for the elderly. The government should also conduct a “consistent review” of inmate eligibility cases for good behavior and time allowance, he also said.

If the government provided adequate resources and capacity to special drug courts, Epres believes it would help reduce the problem of illegal drugs and reduce the number of people in pretrial detention. “Prison reform and other alternatives to imprisonment should also be explored and implemented,” he said.

In addition, Epres said the government needs “confidence-building measures” so that witnesses in drug cases are encouraged to testify in the pursuit of justice for victims and their families.

“The government has an important role to play in encouraging constructive dialogue on human rights, including respecting and protecting human rights defenders, defenders, witnesses, victims and their families. against retaliation,” he said.

“Addiction solutions should focus on mental health services, rehabilitation and education. Police operations must ensure respect for rules of engagement, respect for human rights and due process,” he said.

He cited the Supreme Court’s promulgation of AM No. 21-06-08-SC or the “Rules for the Use of Body-Weared Cameras in Warrant Enforcement”, which he considered a “welcome guarantee” to ensure that the rule of law is respected.

TAGS: #CHR #EPRES

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