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Gov’t protecting human rights, says Palace spokesman

The government has taken measures to protect human rights and pursued cases against those involved in abuses, according to a Palace official.

Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. defended President Aquino’s human rights record after an international rights group reported lingering rights violations in the country.

”An inter-agency group headed by then Justice Secretary de Lima already made a study of cases brought to its attention by civil society and human rights organizations sometime in 2012. This resulted in the filing of cases that are now being pursued,” Coloma said.

Coloma said the government has dismantled the apparatus of impunity that brought about the Maguindanao massacre. The government, he added, has finished presenting evidence against most of the accused involved in the incident.

“Further judicial reforms take time to gain traction and the government is pursuing such reforms with firm determination,” Coloma said.

Amnesty International Philippines earlier recognized that human rights violations, including the unresolved Maguindanao massacre, remain a problem in the country.

The group has called on poll candidates to present their platform in promoting and human rights. Voters should also consider such issues in choosing the next set of leaders in the country, it said.