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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, www.batasnatin.com 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)

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