Will the Commission on Human Rights be helping the suspect in the killing of a seaman’s wife and daughter in Cavite? At least, this is what some blogs claimed in their headlines.
Blogs thinkingpinoys.info and citizentoday.info, among others, were using a headline that said, “Suspek sa Pagpatay sa Mag-inang OFW tutulungan umano ng CHR.”
Note how there was an error in describing the victims as “mag-inang OFW” instead of “mag-ina ng OFW.”
Clicking on the links to the article, citizentoday.info simply contained a video clip from GMA News’ 24 Oras about how the suspect, Ruel Cabatingan, surrendered to the Eastern Samar Police office on December 28. Cabatingan is the principal suspect in the murder cases of Ruby and Shania Nicole Gamos.
On the other hand, thinkingpinoys.info posted the same video from 24 Oras as well as a short narration of some part of the report, detailing how the suspect asked the Public Attorneys’ Office (PAO) for help, but was declined because the victims’ husband and father, Marlon Gamos, has already asked them for help. PAO said it would be a conflict of interest for them if they take on Cabatingan’s case.
“Ang gusto niya, PAO ang humawak sa kanya, ang sabi ko hindi po pwede dahil conflict of interest, nauna sa atin ang tatay ng biktima at asawa ng biktima,” said PAO chief Persida Acosta.
The GMA News report did not say anything about the CHR extending help to the suspect.
Instead, it was thinkingpinoys.info that noted how some of the commenters on GMA News’ post suggested that the suspect go to the CHR for help.
This meant that the headline was really misleading. What the content of the second blog was trying to say was that it was the netizens who sarcastically suggested that the suspect should go to the CHR to ask for help after PAO declined to help him. It was not what the headline seemed to portray, which was that CHR will help the suspect.
This was the GMA News report that the blogs included in their posts:
However, we found at least two Facebook fan pages, “Duterte News Everywhere” and “Sara Duterte Worldwide Supporters,” that shared the article with the misleading headline.
And some of the netizens, probably without even clicking to check out the story, thought the headline was true and reacted negatively against the CHR.
For those who are still not fully informed about the duties of the CHR, here is an easily understandable infographic. The CHR will help those whose human rights were violated by the government, including the military, police, court, and other parts of the government. But those who are victims of crimes committed by private citizens, as in these murder cases, they can ask for help from the Philippine National Police.