On Aquino’s 3rd year
“No matter how the Aquino government denies the use of torture, state security forces in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) resort to and apply it to their victims, inside and outside prison,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan.
The bombing of communities, especially the resource-rich ancestral domain of indigenous peoples, in northern and southern Philippines is part of the Aquino government’s war tactics as it intensifies the implementation of its own version of Oplan Bantay Laya, the Oplan Bayanihan.
"The recent statement of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) is a much needed boost to the Filipino people’s call to resume the peace talks and to end the culture of impunity in the country," Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson of Karapatan, said. Established in 1946, the IADL is an organization of lawyers worldwide, which has a consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“The recent electoral exercise only produced more of the same well-entrenched political clans, rights violators, and peddlers of the country’s resources to foreign big business,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, characterizing the results of the 2013 elections.
1. Toru HASHIMOTO, the mayor of Osaka and a co-leader of the Japan Restoration Association, a political party with over 50 lawmakers in Parliament, remarked on May 13 that the “comfort women” for the Japanese Army during World War II was “necessary” in maintaining discipline in the army and providing relief for soldiers. “When soldiers are risking their lives by running through storms of bullets, and you want to give these emotionally charged mass of fighters a rest somewhere, everyone understands that a comfort women system was necessary,” he said to reporters. He also claimed that there was no proof that the Japanese authorities had forced women into servitude.
We, the undersigned international and Asian NGOs, as well as NGOs from other region strongly condemn these outrageous comments as an attempt to defend egregious violations of women’s human rights in the name of necessity.
“With eight months left to Oplan Bayanihan’s self-imposed deadline to supposedly render the CPP-NPA-NDF insignificant, the Aquino government is again turning the table against the NDFP negotiating panel, in a bid for a graceful exit from the peace talks and to justify intensified attacks, not only against the CPP-NPA-NDF, but more so against the ordinary tao whom the government considers as supporters of the revolutionary movement.”
Human rights group Karapatan today deplored the recent assignment of Brig. Gen. Ricardo Visaya as “acting commander” of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based in Cagayan de Oro City.
Los desaparecidos, those who disappeared. Abducted at night, the worst fate to be feared. To have spoken one word too many, or one word too loud, The very next day, to vanish in the crowd. Thousands, taken, one by one Fathers, and brothers, and wives, and daughters. Through mother’s pain and families’ grief Hope clings to one belief, One day, they wish, he will be found, he will be found.
- Esperanza Pacheco Cortez
In the news: “Another one was killed. Another one had disappeared.” Human rights violations (HRVs) keep on happening without let up. In the nine (9) years of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s reign, more than a thousand are victims of extrajudicial killing and 206 forcibly disappeared, 1,099 tortured, 2,059 were illegally arrested. On the other hand, in a span of two (2) years of President Noynoy Aquino’s presidency, Karapatan documented 137 victims of extrajudicial killing, 14 of enforced disappearance, 72 of torture, 269 of illegal arrest.