MANILA — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) deplored Tuesday an attempt by supposed communist rebels to extort money from its regional offices in Mindanao.
In a statement, CHR Executive Director Jacqueline de Guia said the agency's offices in Northern Mindanao and Soccsksargen recently received calls from people who introduced themselves as members of the New People's Army (NPA), threatening personnel in exchange for money.
The Soccsksargen office received a call last May 11 from a self-proclaimed NPA commander, who "asked for P8,000 for his wounded comrade."
"The caller also asked for a lawyer and warned that he knows all the personnel of CHR Region XII," De Guia said.
On the same day, the CHR in Northern Mindanao also got a call from a person who claimed to be an NPA member to ask for P200,000.
The following day, the same regional office received another call "from a person with the same voice who threatened one of the investigators," De Guia said.
"CHR strongly condemns these brazen acts of extortion and threats against our regional offices," she said.
"As an independent National Human Rights Institution, CHR shall not yield to any form of extortion or threat by any individual or group," she added.
De Guia said the CHR is conducting a probe on the incidents but also called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to hold its own parallel investigation.
"We also expediently request for PNP to provide security and protection to the said CHR regional offices and their personnel," she said.
FROM THE ARCHIVES