Monday, December 13, 2010

“No waivers” for violations
of human rights, says CHR

THERE is no such thing as a waiver of a constitutional right, said a leading human rights advocate in Central Visayas.

Asked on how to treat human rights violations in hazing where the victims were earlier signing waivers, Commission on Human Rights 7 Regional Director Atty. Alejandro Alonso said these kinds of waivers are void ad initio.

In legal parlance, void ab initio ruling is basically a non-binding document as it was null and void from the very start.

By citing article 6 of the constitution, said rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right to be recognized by law.

Atty. Alonso explained that hazing is already in itself criminalized in RA 8049 and that a waiver to diffuse criminal liability for the torturer is from the very beginning, void.

The question was raised during the recent Kapihan sa PIA where the forum on the air was devoted to the national celebration of the human rights week December 2-10.

Fraternities, gangs and some social groups practice a kind of torture by paddling or simply hazing to test and demand loyalty from their neophytes, pledges or rushees.

Commission of Human Rights said these practices are most often some forms of human rights violations.

However, many believe that since some fraternities and groups have shown they can be violent, people just shun away from pressing for their rights to be protected from torture for fear of reprisals.
In some instances, waivers are also made involving minors, meaning aside from the party lacking the legal capacity to enter into such waivers, this alone makes it null all the more.

On this, the CHR in the Visayas calls parents and guardians of students who have been, or are being victimized by this violation to get their complaints to the local human rights office.

CHR Bohol is at the second floor of the OPSWD building along Tamblot Street, this city. (racPIABohol)

Inabanga fire volunteers:
Best among Bohol’s finest

TEAM Municipio Inabanga fire brigade stood the best among the finest volunteer firefighters in their category at the fire fighting Olympics held at the PMI grounds in Taloto District December 10, 2010.

At the First Bohol PIFARERDS Volunteer Fire Brigades (VFB) Olympics, Bohol Fire Marshall Pepe Rebusa earlier explained that the Olympics participating teams have proven their skills by winning in their respective district competitions held in locations all over Bohol.

The activity is a skills upgrading and honing competition to bond fire volunteers and upgrade the disaster risk reduction and management capability of Boholanos, FSSupt Rebusa added.

Team Municipio Inabanga VFB bested District 2 VFB teams during a district wide competition held in Talibon a couple of weeks ago.  

Challenging Inabanga were Maribojoc VFB, winner for District 1 after a competition held in Calape, and Valencia, winner of District 3 during a district wide competition held in Jagna last week.

Earlier finishing with a 2:04 minutes in clipping their win at the district, Bohol VFB Olympics winner Inabanga was the longest time recoded among the three winners.

In previous competitions, Maribojoc clocked 1:52 seconds to top District I teams while Valencia came in with an impressive 1:47 seconds.

Adopting a combination of “busted hose and up the ladder” skills proficiency competition, the Olympics tested the proficiency of volunteer fire fighters skills and teamwork said Fire officer Gemma Teresa Minoza.

The proficiency is seen in their capability in fully coupling without any signs of leakages some 7 lengths of 50 feet hoses after dragging the ends across the field, A nozzle man is to spray water into a target using a 150 psi pressured water pumped from a fire truck, she explains.

As the contest also entails skillfully replace a busted hose, team members work to replace the busted hose with a spare, and having completed that, a nozzle man climbs up a manually erected ladder held by 4 team mates and while carrying a fire hose, he sprays another target from the 8th ladder rung, she added. 

Every infraction adds up 2 seconds into their completion time, Minoza said, excitement in her voice.

Inabanga, Maribojoc and Valencia are just three of the competing delegations in a category.

Another category was opened for private companies fire volunteer brigades.

In it were Coca-cola Bottlers Philippines Inc Volunteer Fire Brigade, Sea Coral Beach Resort in Panglao VFB and Philippine Maritime Institute’s Special Project Alpha VFB.

Sea Coral Beach Resor VFB grabbed the trophy in their category, related fire officer Danila of the Bureau of Fire Protection. (racPIA Bohol)

Gov Chatto urges quick, correct
information at AUDIO induction

TIMELY and accurate information, reminds Governor Edgar Chatto to the members of the information officers of Bohol during its recent induction of officers at the Jjs Seafoods Village December 9.

Himself a self professed believer of the power of information in nations building, Chatto emphasized to the members of the Association of United Development Information Officers (AUDIO) in Bohol that it is their responsibility to make up for a truthful and quick reporting of the development news.

Chatto was the inducting officer of the newly elected AUDIO officers who shall remain in office until the next elections, three years from now.

An organization uniting the information officers from the towns and information workers from the national government agencies, AUDIO has effectively addressed the need for a common ground where issues raided by the towns to be given quick resolve. 

At AUDIO meetings, gaps in government services reported by local government unit information officers are plugged with national government representative information officers able to hear the problems out.   

The governor also pointed out the need to let people know what the government is doing in order to engage them into “rowing the boat together.”

Inducted President of the AUDIO) in Bohol is Augustus Escobia of the Effective Development Communication (EDCOM) of Bohol capitol.

Executive Vice President for LGU is Gualberto Jaspe of Pilar while EVP for national government agencies is Ma. Lydia Bantugan of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Bohol.

Secretary is Ma. Elena Maniwang of LGU Balilihan and assistant secretary is Elvira Bongosia of the Philippine Information Agency.

Treasurer is Felita Naomi Molino of Carmen while assistant treasurer is Mae Remedios Collyer-Virtucio of the Bohol Island State University Main Campus.

Auditor is Junne Eric Flor of LGU San Isidro.

Meanwhile, press relations officers are Raymond Delgado (Tubigon) for the First District, Jojeline Buendia (Trinidad) for District 2 and Lindsey Marie Vismanos (Garcia Hernandez) for District 3.

PRO for NGAs is Jaminel Damolo of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). (racPIABohol) 

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