CHR urges impartial probe on deaths of Parojinog siblings
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is urging the government to conduct a transparent and impartial investigation on the deaths of Ricardo and Melodia Parojinog while under their custody.
On Wednesday, CHR issued an urgent advisory for the government to decisively address the death of the Parojinogs.
"We welcome the investigation of the Philippine National Police on the death of Ricardo and similarly also emphasize the role of the Department of the Interior and Local Government in investigating the death of Melodia who died under the custody of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology," CHR said.
"The CHR raises the alarm on this announcement in the absence of autopsy reports," it added.
The commission reminded authorities that those who died under their custody may be regarded as extrajudicial killing if left uninvestigated in accordance with human rights standards and principles under the UN Convention Against Torture and the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
"While criminality should not be countenanced, due process should not be compromised in the wake of deaths in custody," CHR said.
CHR recommended five urgent actions: determining the cause of death of the two Parojinogs and secure the protection of Reynaldo Jr and Nova Parojinog, who are also under police custody; ensure a full and impartial autopsy as requested by the family and guarantee the remains will not be buried without it; file appropriate charges, administrative or criminal in nature against erring officers responsible for the deaths under custody; cooperate with CHR to implement the constitutional mandate on jail visitation and in obtaining forensic evidence to find out if there are human rights violations committed against the Parojinog siblings while in police custody; and urged all custodial authorities to report all occurrences of death in custody to the CHR as part of their regular reporting obligation.
According to the PNP, Ricardo Parojinog was found unresponsive in his detention cell in Ozamiz City last September 4 while Melodia died in a hospital on September 6.
PNP chief General Camilo Cascolan said the family of Ricardo Parojinog did not request for an autopsy since they fully well know his health condition. Ella Dionisio/DMS