Rajab 5, 1444 AH / January 27, 2023 – Simultaneous with the conduct of legal services in celebration of the 4th Bangsamoro Foundation Day on January 26, 2023, the Bangsamoro Human Rights Commission (BHRC), through its Maguindanao del Norte Provincial Office, extended financial assistance to certain victims of human rights violations and abuses in the Maguindanao del Norte Province.

One of the beneficiaries includes a family of a tortured victim who died as a result thereof, while the rest are victims of rape and Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC).

In a message delivered by BHRC Maguindanao del Norte Provincial Director Atty. Ariff A. Lao, CPA, he stated that the financial assistance program is one of the flagship programs of the BHRC as part of its mandate of protecting human rights. Thus:

Ang pagbibigay ng financial assistance sa mga biktima ng pang aabuso sa karapatang pantao ay isa lamang sa mga programa ng BHRC para maipadama sa ating mga kapwa Bangsamoro ang ating pagpapahalaga sa kanilang mga karapatang pantao. Kami sa BHRC Maguindanao del Norte Provincial Office ay patuloy sa pag iimbestiga ng mga kaso ng pang-aaabuso sa karapatang pantao sa aming area of jurisdiction. Sa ngayon ay marami pa pong naka lineup na qualified beneficiaries na posibleng mabigyan ng financial assistance, In Shaa Allah.”

Under the Bangsamoro Autonomy Act No. 4, otherwise known as the “Bangsamoro Human Rights Act of 2019,” the BHRC shall extend, in the course or as a result of the investigation, financial and/or legal assistance to the victims of human rights violations and abuses whose complaints have been given due course thereby.

The beneficiaries thanked the Commission, as led by Chairperson Atty. Abdul Rashid P. Kalim, through its Maguindanao del Norte Provincial Office, headed by Atty. Ariff A. Lao, CPA, for the pecuniary aid which they received. The Commission assured the victims and their families that the protection and promotion of the human rights of every Bangsamoro is a priority that shall be upheld at all times

On the same day, legal services were also being conducted by the BHRC, in cooperation with its partners from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), Bangsamoro Shariah Lawyers League of the Philippines, Inc. (BSLLPI), Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG), National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), Ministry of Public Order and Safety (MPOS), and other BARMM ministries, agencies, and/or offices under the Peace, Public Order, Safety and Security (PPOSS) Committee, at the Office of the Chief Minister Quadrangle, Bangsamoro Government Center Compound, Cotabato City.

The 4th Bangsamoro Foundation Day is set to culminate today, January 27, 2023.