"The conflict in Mindanao is due to one cause: the blatant disregard for human rights. And one way to combat this problem is by granting CHR the power to prosecute violators of the Human Security Act,” Drilon said.
Human Security Act is the anti-terror law passed by Congress a few months ago.
Drilon used to resist the idea of giving the CHR more powers. But he said he is pushing for it now because of the "attitude of the administration.
Quezon Province 4th District Rep. Erin Tañada, another LP leader, seconded Drilon’s suggestion.
Tañada, who chairs the House Committee on Human Rights, cited three stages to promote peace and human rights in the country: addressing the issue of compensation to human rights victims, strengthening the CHR's powers, and passing bills against torture, enforced disappearance, and on command responsibility.
He said these measures will support the campaign against extrajudicial killings.
Drilon meanwhile said he believes in reviewing and amending the constitution as its crafting was “clearly influenced by our experience during Martial Law” and that it contains many loopholes.
He, however, added that changing the charter should be done through a constitutional convention.
He cautioned that changing the constitution might extend President Arroyo’s hold on power beyond 2010 and make her the prime minister.
The LP, which is celebrating their 61st anniversary this year, has declared its support to the anti-dynasty provision in the constitution which the Tañadas exemplify by not allowing a family member to run while another one is still in an elective office.
Drilon and Tañada also revealed that they will be endorsing Senator Mar Roxas to be the party's next president. (Cherry Concon/MindaNews)