HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATES. The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) held its LaKaRan, a campaign of the office to strengthen its human rights advocacy. The launching of the campaign in Eastern Visayas held on Wednesday (March 20) was led by its chairman, Richard Palpal-latoc(right), and CHR-8 director, Desiree Pontejos. (PHOTO COURTESY)

TACLOBAN CITY – The chairman of the Commission on Human Rights, Richard Palpal-latoc, is currently in Leyte to oversee the two-day Lakbay Karapatan Tungo sa Kamalayan (LaKaRan) caravan held at the Oriental Hotel Leyte from March 20 to 21.

LaKaRan, a CHR initiative, aims to bolster the agency’s educational and promotional efforts and extend its reach to more communities, particularly those belonging to disadvantaged, marginalized, and vulnerable sectors of society.

As part of the caravan, a summit involving barangay human rights action officers (BHRAO) was held with village officials from Tanauan, Leyte in attendance.

They were instructed on the basic concepts and principles of human rights, as well as their role in enhancing human rights at the local level.

The municipal government of Tanauan recently passed an ordinance for the formal creation of human rights action office.

“The idea is to empower them to receive complaints and, eventually, refer them to us at the CHR or to the Philippine National Police for appropriate action,” Palpal-latoc said during a media interview on Wednesday (March 20).

Palpal-latoc emphasized the CHR’s advocacy for all local government units across the country to establish their own BHRAO, including at the municipal and city levels.
During his visit, the human rights advocate engaged in an intimate discussion with members of the local media.

He introduced the Alisto! Alert Mechanism, designed to provide a platform for journalists facing attacks or threats while performing their duties.

“This platform enables media personnel to report violations against human rights,” Palpal-latoc said.

The mechanism serves as a safe space for journalists to submit reports, with subsequent investigations conducted upon posting of the report.

The CHR launched this platform in February of this year.

Palpal-latoc reiterated the CHR’s mandate as the country’s independent human rights institution to address human rights issues. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)