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Victims of Arroyo regime to P-Noy: Hold the perpetrators accountable now!

In commemoration of the International Day of the Disappeared, families of victims of human rights violations under Arroyo under the banner of Hustisya (Victims of Arroyo Regime United for Justice) marched to Mendiola today. 

“We call for the immediate surfacing of the 206 victims of enforced disappearances under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, at the same time that we call for justice for the 1,206 victims of extrajudicial killings,” said Evangeline Hernandez, spokesperson of Hustisya. 

KARAPATAN warns P-Noy not to wash his hands on Hacienda Luisita issue

The National Council of the human rights watchdog Karapatan joins farmers and supporters in a mass by Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani dedicated to Hacienda Luisita workers at the Santo Domingo Church, and warned President Benigno Aquino III “not to wash his hands” on the controversial land dispute.

KARAPATAN Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said, on the eve of a Supreme Court en banc hearing of oral arguments on the case, that “Pres. Aquino should take the initiative to revoke the stock distribution option (SDO) as already decided by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council in 2005, nullify the sham compromise deal of the Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) management, and immediately implement the long overdue land distribution to farmers and farm workers.

“Not in the name of human rights, not one day more!” – Karapatan


On the AFP Extension of Oplan Bantay Laya II

“Not in the name of human rights, not one day more!” – Karapatan

The human rights alliance Karapatan assailed the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya II announced by Armed Forces Chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo David last Sunday.

Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao Enriquez scored the AFP for claiming that they would “emphasize the respect and upholding of human rights,” for it is one of the thrusts of President Benigno Aquino III. “This is the height of deception and distortion by the AFP and the President to lull the people into accepting this abominable counter-insurgency strategy which was already found by both local and international bodies to be one of the reasons for the series of killings and enforced disappearances committed against activists and critics of the US-Arroyo regime.  It is now becoming clear that this Aquino II regime is nothing but a continuation of its predecessor in terms of human rights,’’ Enriquez declares.

The Aquino II administration must stop deceiving the people. “Not in the name of human rights,” Enriquez said.  “The bloody record of Oplan Bantay Laya has shown the AFP’s total disregard for human rights.  Its mercenary tradition has shown not even a modicum of respect but rather total contempt of human rights,” she added.

On Presidential EO forming the Truth Commission:

KARAPATAN reiterates its call to P-Noy: End impunity, prosecute Gloria Arroyo and state security forces involved in human rights violations under her watch! 

Now that President Benigno S. Aquino III has already signed the Executive Order forming the Truth Commission, we at Karapatan, ask him:  Will PNoy’s government lead the prosecution of Mrs.Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the military and police personnel involved in human rights violations from 2001- end June 2010?

The Palace has said that the Truth Commission will “investigate reports of graft and corruption of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people.”  The President’s spokesperson, Mr. Edwin Lacierda said  “[The commission’s] job is to investigate and seek the truth in the grave allegations of graft and corruption during the past nine years that allegedly involved government officials and their conspirators in the private sector.”

It is good and proper that these anomalies must be investigated and we hope that prosecution and punishment of those found guilty will also be done.

But we maintain that human rights violations cases must be viewed also as cases “of such scale and magnitude that shock and offend the moral and ethical sensibilities of the people” and thus, must also be prioritized by government so that impunity that attend the commission of these crimes must be put to an end.  The victims are still crying for justice up to now.

Rights group slams separation of newborn from detained mother;

Rights group slams separation of newborn from detained mother; calls for immediate release of mother and child from detention and the release of all political prisoners

The human rights alliance Karapatan strongly calls for the immediate release of the 43 illegally detained health workers, collectively known as Morong 43, starting with the release of Carina "Judilyn" Oliveros who gave birth to a baby boy on July 22, 2010 at the Philippine General Hospital.

"Oliveros should be immediately released with her baby and we strongly protest the planned separation of mother from child," Karapatan chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology officers at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City are planning to take back to the Camp on Monday, August 3, the mother, Judilyn Oliveros, who belongs to the illegally detained health workers or the Morong 43, without the baby because they said that babies are prohibited from being reared inside the detention cell.

“We completely agree that conditions in the detention are not good for the baby AS WELL AS FOR THE NURSING MOTHER; and that is why we STRONGLY CALL for the IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF JUDILYN OLIVEROS AND HER BABY!, “ Enriquez said.  “The continuous detention of the health workers or the Morong 43, is in itself already very tenuous, I don’t know how the courts can legally defend such a violation!  And then this dispensation will further aggravate the situation by cruelly separating the baby from his source of nourishment, love and comfort, practically violating the baby’s basic rights,” she added.