By Tu Alid Alfonso
COTABATO City (September 3, 2013) — The Medical Action Group Inc. (MAG), which has been facilitating and helping the victims for the documentation on cases of Human Rights Violations or HRVs, conducted a series of “Presentations and Demonstrations of the Online Database of Trained Public Health Doctors” in Mindanao including Cotabato City, Davao, Zamboanga, Sulu and other areas in Luzon and Visayas.
The project, which is called Medical Doctors for Human Rights or “MD4HR,” is an online database for public health Doctors who have studied and trained on human rights documentation.
Commission on Human Rights Region XII Director Atty. Christina Haw-tay Jovero said, “MAG is of big help to the areas that have a lot of cases of torture, sexual and physical abuses.”
According to MAG Officer John Alster Soriano, the MAG have trained 500 public health doctors all over the Philippines on Torture Documentation, Forensic Science Investigation, Forensic Autopsy, Basic Death Investigation, Forensic Sexual Assault Examination, Human Rights-Based Approach to Health, Death Certification and Testifying in Court as government witnesses.
The trained public health Doctors are City and Municipal Health Officers, Doctors to the Barrios, Rural Health Physicians and Emergency Doctors.
“Public health Doctors who have been trained in HRVs documentation process will help the victims for documenting HRVs cases right-away. Those documented cases of HRVs could be a source of evidence to the court when it will be filed by the victims,” Soriano said.
Soriano encourages the participants and the public to submit any reports on HRVs. “You can visit the website and submit your report to http://www.md4hr.net/,” he said.
The workshop presentation was held in Alnor Hotel, Cotabato City on August 27. It was attended by the Civil Society Organizations, Non-Government Organizations, and Lawyers from the Commission on Human Rights XII and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Medical Action Group is known to be a service-provider to victims of torture and other human rights violations, and has been active in the campaign against torture in the Philippines since its establishment in 1982.