The Armed Forces of the Philippines is one with the different government agencies and civil society organizations in the observance of the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. It is noteworthy, that our efforts in promoting and protecting human rights continue to gain ground as our IPSP [Internal Peace and Security Plan] "BAYANIHAN" is now in full throttle.
This grows stronger, what with the support and partnership of the different stakeholders advocating human rights (HR), the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and pertinent Rules of Law (ROL). In this regard, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Balay Rehabilitation Center and the United Against Torture Coalition (UATC) for giving us the opportunity to participate in this one-hour human rights run dubbed as "Basta! Run Against Torture".
I shall say that the AFP is one with you in this advocacy. When I assumed the position of Chief of Staff, AFP on 7 March 2011, I made sure that the programs relative to strengthening our adherence to human rights will continue. As such, I immediately directed the AFP HRO [AFP Human Rights Office] to come up with an AFP Human Rights Action Plan (AFP HRAP) for 2011-2014 which is for implementation by 1 July 2011.
As a matter of fact, we have created AFP HRO and replicated this down through the Major Services and Unified Commands. Through these capacity building procedures, we intend to foster a culture of human rights within the organization. The AFP leadership sees to it that field units shall strictly observe our polices against torture and in upholding human rights. This, I have communicated several times during my visits to field units.
We are persistently trying to shape the operational environment and public perception of the AFP as regard to the issue on Human Rights.
And to further intensify our efforts toward this, we have also undertaken measures to establish and institutionalize a reporting mechanism on human rights violations committed by the enemies of the state. As protector of our people, we are conscious of our mandate to bring such violators to justice.
To be with all of you today in this activity is certainly an honor. And I treat this as a welcome gesture and reaffirmation on your part on the belief that the AFP is one with you in the advocacy against torture. With this, I am certain that you are confident with your AFP that we are in the frontline in upholding the principles of human rights. And for this, I am proud to say that you have the support of the Armed Forces in this endeavor.
I know that our finish line to finally put an end to human rights violation is still a long way to go, but I am happy that with dedicated people like you our "run against torture" will never be exhausting.
Thank you very much and good morning.
Gen. Eduardo SL Oban Jr.
Armed Forces of the Philippines