Press Release
May 23, 2011

Committee on Foreign Relations to Review Treaties on Torture
and Protocol to Int'l Conflicts

The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, chaired by Senator Loren Legarda, will conduct a hearing on the Optional Protocol on the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) and the Protocol I. The hearing is set on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 10:00 AM at the Pecson room in the Senate.

Legarda said that the Protocol I is a supplement to the four Geneva Conventions. It primarily provides civilian population protection from the direct effects of hostilities during international armed conflicts only.

Meanwhile, the Committee has already reviewed the OPCAT last February 16 but it has to be presented again after the Executive Department changed the transmittal from an Instrument of Ratification to an Instrument of Accession.

The OPCAT requires State Parties to establish an independent national preventive mechanism that would regularly monitor all places of detention, inspect its facilities, and recommend solutions to prevent torture and other ill-treatment.

Legarda said that she wants to ensure that the Committee has taken into full consideration the views of all stakeholders concerned in these agreements before it submits the treaties to the plenary for the concurrence of the Senate.

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