SC Justices Unveil Human Rights Day Marker
December 06, 2022
The Members of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo and Senior Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, prepare to unveil the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Marker at the lobby of the Supreme Court Main Building on Tuesday, December 6, 2022.
In advanced celebration of International Human Rights Day, the Justices of the Supreme Court led the unveiling of the marker memorializing the Court’s commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at the lobby of the Supreme Court Main Building in Ermita, Manila.
In his message to court officials and employees, Senior Associate Justice (SAJ) Marvic M.V.F. Leonen, Chairperson of the Supreme Court Committee on Human Rights, stressed that human rights “consists not only of a penumbra of autonomies for the individual—it can also be framed as part of our duties to each other, our communities, and our societies.”
“Human rights, in a sense, also includes our duty to respect not only the individual, but also collective freedoms,” said SAJ Leonen.
He also disclosed that in the coming year, the SC Committee on Human Rights will work to recommend the approval of the writ of kalayaan which can assist various individuals and communities as well as call the attention of
specific courts regarding the condition of the country’s jails and detention centers.
SAJ Leonen further shared that the Committee on Human Rights “will also review the contents, impact, and operations of the writ of amparo, habeas data, and habeas corpus. It will do so in a consultative manner, involving not only the basic sectors but government as well as uniformed services.”
“Further, within the first half of next year, and based on the data so far collected from the deaths and threats in the past years, it will make recommendations to the Court En Banc as to how to further protect lawyers and judges,” added SAJ Leonen. He said that by unveiling the Human Rights Day marker, the Supreme Court celebrates its commitment to do more.
In his closing message, Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo emphasized that in commemoration of Human Rights Day on December 10, the Supreme Court installs the marker “to reaffirm our dedication to the truths underlying this declaration and to testify to our commitment to uphold and protect the rights embodied therein.”
Said the Chief Justice: “Set forth in this declaration are thirty human rights, indivisible and interdependent, engendering a universal respect for the equality of each human being.” Chief Justice Gesmundo added that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has not only inspired constitutional laws “but also spurred most democracies in the world in their fight for independence and self-determination. Truly, the justice and freedom that every person must enjoy wherever he or she may be can be traced to this document.”
“We declare that in the Supreme Court and in the entire Judiciary, there will be no intolerance, bigotry, and prejudice, but only respect, acceptance, and equality,” concluded the Chief Justice.
International Human Rights Day is observed on December 10 of every year, coinciding with the day in the year 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (Courtesy of the Supreme Court Public Information Office)