Why discriminate in the dispensation of justice in favour of “activists” and “journalists”? This is what proponents of a new law that adds favour to the “plight” of “human rights defenders” need to answer. It seems they are proposing a law that is completely redundant…
According to the explanatory note of the Makabayan bloc, human rights defenders are subjected to different kinds of harassment and threats. These include:
Abductions and kidnappings
Arbitrary arrest and detention
Filing of trumped-up charges
Many groups also emphasized that these attacks do not only target the defenders themselves, but also extend to their families. This aims to act as a way to prevent them from continuing with their works to spare their loved ones from the harassment.
Worse, this proposed law is discriminatory. Aren’t all of these types of attacks against people already punishable under existing Philippine laws? If so, it would seem that the proposed law that favours “human rights defenders” is discriminatory as it puts undue priority on the cases involving “human rights defenders” at the expense of cases of other Filipinos who have equal rights to attention as victims of what are essentially the same crimes.
People need to question why these people think some ought to be given extra special treatment under this new law. All Filipinos should be equal under the law and shouldn’t be entitled to special treatment just because they are “human rights defenders”.