MANILA -- House Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada expressed the need to further strengthen the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to give it the full capacity to exercise its duties as a body that promotes and protects human rights.

He made this statement after the Commission released a resolution clearing the Armed Forces of the Philippines from any responsibility regarding the abduction and torture of Melissa Roxas in Tarlac in 2009.

"Given its investigaive findings, even if these were done to the fullest extent, the CHR still has a limited capacity in terms of powers and resources in ensuring that human rights in our country would be upheld and violators would be brought to justice," says the Deputy Speaker.

Tañada is the principal author of House Bill No. 55 or the Commission on Human Rights Act, which seeks to strengthen the rights body.

“We need to expand the Commission's mandate to investigate. Currently, the CHR is already conducting investigations, but we really have to make sure that it is fully equipped in handling alleged human rights violations,” says Tañada. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)