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Commission on Human Rights investigates Aruba incident August 17, 2006

Posted by lagablab in campaigns, Discrimination, lagablab alert!.
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Aruba bar and restaurant faces another investigation because of its dress code.

The Commission on Human Rights decided to hold an independent investigation on an alleged incident of discrimination involving Aruba restaurant and Christopher Borja (aka “Inday Garutay”). The case – CHR Case No. A6-105 – seeks to determine whether a human right violation, specifically “discrimination on the account of sex”, was indeed committed by the restaurant.

On July 4, 2006, Aruba restaurant reportedly forced Inday Garutay to leave the establishment because of its “dress code”, which, as explained its supervisor, prohibits cross-dressers from going inside the restaurant. Inday Garutay later filed a civil suit against Aruba restaurant for violating the human rights provisions of the Civil Code.

The Commission on Human Rights sent a sub-poena both to Inday Garutay and to the management of Aruba Bar and Restaurant. No confirmation has been given by the management of the restaurant whether it would appear before the hearing, which is scheduled today, August 17, 2006, at 9.00 AM.

“Inday Garutay” and the management of Aruba bar and restaurant have been ordered to appear before CHR Special Investigators Maria Sio and Richard Laron.

According to Ms. Sio, the Commission usually reports out a set of recommendations addressed to relevant government agencies. In the past, the CHR has ordered the government to file charges against perpetrators of human rights violations.

The CHR is a constitutional body that was established after the Marcos dictatorship to ensure that highest priority is given to the protection and promotion of the people’s right to human dignity.
According to the 1987 Constitution, the CHR has the following mandate:

    (1) Investigate, on its own or on complaint by any party, all forms of human rights violations involving civil and political rights;

    (2) Adopt its operational guidelines and rules of procedure, and cite contempt for violations thereof in accordance with the Rules of Court;

    (3) Provide appropriate legal measures for the protection of human rights of all persons within the Philippines, as well as Filipinos residing abroad, and provide for preventive measure and legal aid services to the underprivileged whose human rights have been violated or need protection.

    (4) Exercise visitorial powers over jails, prisons, or detention facilities;

    (5) Establish a continuing program of research, education, and information to enhance respect for the primacy of human rights;

    (6) recommend to the Congress effective measures to promote human rights and to provide for compensation to victims of violations of human rights, or their families;

    (7) Monitor the Philippine Government’s compliance with international treaty on human rights;

    (8) Grant immunity from prosecution to any person whose testimony or whose possession of documents or other evidence is necessary or convenient to determine the truth in any investigation conducted by it or under its authority;

    (9) Request the assistance of any department, bureau, office, or agency in the performance of its functions;

    (10) Appoint its officers and employees in accordance with law; and

    (11) Perform such other duties and functions as may be provided by law

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