Año's assurance of no EJK under his watch a shameless lie from a seasoned murderer - Karapatan

“What will be relentless in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) headed by a butcher will be human rights violations. Eduardo Año, in an interview, assured the public that there would be no extrajudicial killings under his term. This is an outright lie, one that spits at the bodies of hundreds of farmers, indigenous peoples, and activists killed during his stint in the military. Año is not just a murderer, he is also a seasoned liar,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay on Año’s recent statement as he started his first day as DILG officer in charge yesterday. 

 

Karapatan earlier condemned the appointment of former AFP chief Año as the DILG OIC. Año served as the chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) before he became the commander of the 10th Infantry Division. On July 2015, he was appointed as the AFP Chief of Staff.

 

 

 

 

Año, in an interview on January 9, said he is no longer a military man, adding that his focus will be carrying out DILG’s mandate. He also said that extrajudicial killings are not a government policy and that he will work to ensure the rights of individuals are respected and recorgnized.

 

“He may no longer be a formal and active military officer, but he remains a militarist through and through. Año’s brand of leadership is reflected in his bloody record in the military. The people and their human rights are taken out of the equation, as evidenced by his stint as ISAFP chief, 10th ID commander, and AFP chief. Only his position and official designation has changed, but he continues to have access to State resources to be used to implement and mount more repressive policies,” Palabay commented.

 

Under his watch, Año headed the Army Intelligence Security Group in 2007, the unit mainly responsible for the operations which led to the enforced disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos. In 2015, he was implicated in the massacre of 3 indigenous people in Paquibato district, Davao City.

 

From December 7, 2016 to October 26, 2017, during Año’s term as AFP Chief, Karapatan documented 86 victims of extrajudicial killings, 485 victims of illegal arrest and detention, 410,568 victims of forced evacuation, 349,489 victims of indiscriminate firing, and 19,810 individuals affected by the use of schools and public places for military purposes.

 

Palabay said that “this is the extent of Año’s proudly murderous record as a military officer – a trail of blood rewarded by the fascist Duterte regime and led to his appointment as DILG head. If justice truly worked in this country, the likes of Año would already be in jail, not appointed as the head of a key department which predisposes him to continue wrecking havoc in communities already militarized and terrorized by State security forces.”

 

“A murderer holding the reins of an agency that primarily implements the war on drugs and programs such as Masa Masid, as well as the counter insurgency program and Inter-Agency Committee on Legal Action Group (IACLA) is a sign that Duterte is furthering his tyrannical and bloody rule. Duterte now sits comfortably in the company of butchers and fellow murderers, guaranteeing the latter power, positions, favor, and a free pass to commit more abuses,” concluded Palabay.