As he is laid to rest today, Karapatan conveys its highest esteem and tribute to His Excellency Most Reverend Julio Xavier Labayen, OCD and Prelate Emeritus of Infanta, who passed away in the morning of April 27, 2016 at the age of 89.
“With a few weeks left for BS Aquino’s presidency, the administration continues to reach for its targets on rights violations through Oplan Bayanihan, while desperately campaigning for Liberal Party bets to escape accountability,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said.
“Instead of providing for the drought-stricken farmers or holding government authorities accountable for ordering police to carry guns and fire at the protesters, BS Aquino, as expected, took the escape route by absolving the police of ANY responsibility. Instead, he blamed the farmers’ movement for the Kidapawan carnage on April 1,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said, referring to the belated statement of BS Aquino on the Kidapawan bloody dispersal.
“I never thought I could reach Manila. I was only after the rice subsidy, but this need for rice has taken me to jail and now in Manila,” an exasperated Valentina Berdin said in Cebuano. The 78-year-old woman was charged with direct assault after the police dispersed the farmers on April 1. She was among the farmers detained after the bloody dispersal which, included elderly and pregnant women.