IHR launches new books on Death Penalty and Rights-based Policing


IHR launches new books on Death Penalty and Rights-based Policing

Showcasing the results of in-depth research and extensive consultations with various sectors, the Institute of Human Rights (IHR) on June 26, 2018 launched two new publications on the ramifications of the re-imposition of the death penalty, and the observance of human rights by law enforcement officers.

The first book, “Papers and Discussions on Death Penalty,” is a collection of articles and speeches on the death penalty presented in two UP IHR organized academic fora by academics, government officials and civil society. This was edited by IHR Director Professor Elizabeth Aguiling-Pangalangan and Atty. Voltaire J. Veneracion. The second publication, IMG_7884“Rights-Based Policing: Idealizing Human Rights in Law Enforcement in the Philippines,” authored by Atty. Glenda Litong, documents the results of an IHR research project appraising the Philippine National Police’s commitment to human rights-based policing.

Institute of Administration of Justice Director and former Associate Dean Patricia Rosalind P. Salvador-Daway, gave her Opening Remarks, congratulating the IHR for another successful book launch. She emphasized that human rights principles as part of the core policies expressed in the Philippines Constitution should be integrated in all aspects of national development, including the administration of justice.

Professor Aguiling-Pangalangan delivered the Director’s message and introduced the new books. She spoke about the IHR’s mandate to contribute to relevant research on policies upholding human dignity and how this was advanced by the new publications that dealt with intersections between the state's role in the administration of justice and the protection of human rights. Focusing on the publication on death penalty, she said that the discourse on the re-imposition of capital punishment is not IMG_7903a purely domestic one, as there exists global consensus against capital punishment by virtue of the Second Optional Protocol to the UN ICCPR, which the Philippines has signed.
Atty. Litong next provided a summary of the salient findings and observations gathered from the IHR research project on rights-based policing. She highlighted the paradox in the performance of police functions, such that law enforcement officers are tasked to ensure human rights, but at the same time expected to pursue zero tolerance for crime. She also pointed to a deficient human resource agenda that failed to inculcate a human rights lens in the formation of law enforcement officers.

International Criminal Court Judge and former UP Law Dean Raul C. Pangalangan; Dinagat Islands Lone District Representative Kaka Bag-ao; Amnesty International Philippines Vice Chairperson Atty. Romeo Cabarde Jr.; Families of Victims of Involuntary Disappearance (FIND) Co-Chairperson Nilda Lagman-Sevilla; and Atty. Jaye Bekema, Chief Legislative Officer of the Office of Senator Risa Hontiveros, shared various views on the re-imposition of death penalty in the country and the critical role of law enforcement officers in the protection and promotion of human rights.IMG_7862

For Judge Pangalangan, when we impose the death penalty, “what is at stake is not just the dignity of the accused, but our own humanity as well, that we can all sit back and conspire wilfully let a human being die.” Hon. Bag-Ao, meanwhile, recounted her experiences as a lawmaker championing human welfare and characterized “the struggle for human rights” in these times as “at its most difficult level.” Ms. Lagman-Sevilla highlighted the need to bring to justice the victims of enforced disappearances. Atty. Cabarde Jr. said that it would take the whole nation, led by a few enlightened ones, to reassert the supremacy of human rights in our democratic spaces. Moreover, Atty. Bekema, speaking on behalf of Senator Hontiveros, reminded the audience that policy-makers and members of the academe must work hand in hand to craft the right policy directions, and oppose wrong ones.

UP College of Law Associate Dean Concepcion “Chit” Jardeleza delivered the Closing Remarks for the Book Launch, acknowledging the consistent hard work of the IHR in furthering its research and publication goals. IHR Law Reform IMG_7891Specialist Atty. Michael T. Tiu, Jr. served as the Master of Ceremonies, while the UP Law Charivari rendered a song midway the program.

The event, held at the first floor Lecture Room of Bocobo Hall, marked the second book launch of the IHR in just the first half of this year.