By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
An additional task group consisting of personnel from the Commission on Human Rights and Human Rights Police Officers was formed for the third State of the Nation Address on Monday to ensure that no human rights were violated between authorities and protesters.
National Capital Region Police Office Director Guillermo Eleazar said that the recently added Support and Security Sub Task Group (SSTG) was tagged as SSTG “Karapatan” which is composed of PNP Human Rights Officers and CHR Investigators.
According to Eleazar, they requested the CHR to supply them representatives from the agency.
He said it is the first time that the PNP coordinated with the CHR for the SONA.
“The whole purpose of having the CHR is to further define our accountability and repsonsibility in our role there. Second, they will serve as our unbiased defenders just in case, you know, they will accuse us of something we did not do. At least, they are there to monitor,” Eleazar said.
SSTG Karapatan was among the 21 SSTGs under three Sub Task Groups of Task Group “Quezon” headed by Quezon City Police District Director Chief Superintendent Joselito Esquivel Jr.
A total of 39 CHR Representatives and 34 PNP Human Right Officers were deployed among the SSTGs within the vicinity of the Batasan Pambansa Complex.
“Nagmomonitor kami sa operations ng officers para mabantayan both sides ng protesters at police para walang mangyaring paglabag sa karapatang pantao,” SPO3 Reymundo Sablaon Jr., one of the PNP Human Rights Officers, explained.
Aside from the support of the human rights officers, the SSTGs were made up of members of the Civil Disturbance Management deployed in various areas.