The prayers of various Civil Society Organizations from within and without Sulu have finally been answered. Today, May 27, 2014, the First Human Rights Monitoring Center has made its launching in Sulu.
The Center is at the Polar Building, 3rd floor, Buyon Street, Jolo, Sulu.
One of the important elements of robust community is the presence of the protectors or defenders of the human rights. I think, this part must be given the greatest attention by the National government, especially for Sulu.
But then again, "baka ma-Cocoy ka!" is the catch phrase. Cocoy Tulawie, a great defender of Human Rights in Sulu, is now in jail (possibly because of precisely being a defender of Human Rights). Mr Tulawie is waiting for the court's Judgment regarding his case.
And then again, the spirit of Cocoy Tulawie has actually live on among the hearts of the Tausug. Mr Nelson Mukarram, RN is now leading the advocacy of Bawgbug in Sulu. Sir Nelson is also a member of BassaKao Inc.
Majority has accepted that, and we are known worldwide for it, Sulu is where the unsolved kidnapping cases abound. Sulu is painted so very badly by the world media because of that, but of course, that is not the whole story.
The 700,000 Tausug should not be going down the drain just becuase the few hundreds are involved in the shady business of kidnapping.
Mexico City actually fares worse than our province in terms of unprecedented cases of lawlessness and frequent disruption of the rule of law. And yet . . . .
And so, If Sulu were truly that bad and unpredictable, then, there must be a greater need for Human Rights advocates to balance the equilibrium. The HR workers protect all that are affected with human rights abuses.
After long years of waiting, finally, they are here. The CHR has launched at the center of the town of Jolo today. Their Monitoring center is officially opened today, with its office at the Polar Building, 3rd floor, Buyon Street, Jolo, Sulu.
The important event is witnessed by all stakeholders of peace in Sulu.
But the Deputy Officer of the Sulu Provincial Police, PSUPT Oscar Nantez believes otherwise, especially on the part of PNP.
The PNP is already amenable to the HR laws and trying their best to implement the same, he said.
He said that the PNP as an organization is already well-trained to help redress HR violations done against any person.
He added, however, that the CHR in Sulu is also good because the victims now have an alternative means of redress, in case they would be thinking twice to coordinate or not with the PNP in Sulu.
The Commissioner Jose Manuel Mamauag of the CHR Philippines expressed joy that the HR services would now be accessible even to the grassroots as far as Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
He specially believes that Sulu more than any province needs the participation of the HR workers and the communities to effect peace and prosperity in Sulu.
He said that the HR Monitoring Center in Sulu would not only accept human rights cases, but also take charge on the increase campaigns of HR awareness educating the people of their Human Rights.
People must also learn to participate in the development process of the community, he said, because consultation and participation are two important elements of progress and development.
The Head of BaSulta subregional office of the RHRC, Atty Edy Lynn Santiago said that this is a dream come true for the CSOs who took pains in requesting for HR services to come down to the grassroots. This is an answered prayer, she said.
She also recognized, she said, that ZC is a far place and not easily accessible, so when the victims should need immediate action, the CHR must be closer to the place of action.
She believes that the establishment of the HR Center in Sulu is very timely.
For his part, Dr Raden Ikbala, the head of the United Sultanate Movement, said that he is happy and thankful about the Monitoring Center.
Dr Ikbala also contended that Sulu had been neglected for a long time by the government. But now, the coming of the CHR to Sulu is a welcome development.
He wished to be of help to the Martial Law human rights violations.
The Mayor of Jolo, Hon Hussin Amin is very supportive of the launching of the CHR in Sulu.
He insisted, however, that there is no human rights violation in the Jolo proper, but he could not talk for the other municipalities. But in any case, this Monitoring Center could now serve as the "Watchdog" for human right abuses in the entire Sulu, he added.