“As members of the Top Level Hierarchy of the PNP, we should internalize and develop our utmost capacities as senior PNP officers on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law consciousness so that our appreciation of the indispensible rights of others will be profoundly engrained in accomplishing our mandate as police officers and as human beings” espoused by PCSUPT MANUEL R GAERLAN, Acting Regional Director, Police Regional Office 7, the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Top Level Forum on International Policing Standards for Senior Police Officers held on March 1, 2016 in Mactan, Cebu, Philippines.
To attain higher professional standards and to keep abreast with the world’s best practices on human rights and international humanitarian law, some 25 star-rank and senior police officers are in attendance to a three-day workshop-forum on International Law Enforcement Standards and International Humanitarian Law which commenced yesterday (March 1) in Mactan, Cebu, Philippines.
The said activity, which is the eight of a series of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law workshop-forum for top level officers first conducted in 2008, was organized by the Philippine National Police Human Rights Affairs Office (PNP-HRAO) in partnership with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
PNP-HRAO Chief Police Chief Superintendent Dennis A Siervo explained that although our government can take pride that the PNP is very progressive in terms of human rights and international humanitarian law and despite the many accomplishments, the work to fully institutionalize respect for human rights as a way of life in the PNP is far from over. There is still a perception, that some police personnel commit human rights violations, hence, the top level forum is an effective venue for freewheeling discussions on doable policy recommendations to mainstream human rights based policing and observance of International Humanitarian Law.
“In partnership with the ICRC, we can lay the groundwork for a police organization that is prosperous and peaceful, an organization that adheres to the rule of national and international law, a Philippine National Police that values, protects, and respects human rights as a way of life”, Siervo explained.
Meanwhile, ICRC Deputy Head of Delegation Sari Nissi stressed that by engaging in dialogue with police and security forces about the law and their operations, the ICRC supports their efforts to incorporate the rules and standards of international law into their procedures.
The ICRC and PNP has worked together on the promotion of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) since 2008 up to date. The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization, mandated to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other forms of violence. It has established its presence in the Philippine for over 60 years now. (PNP-PIO)