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Karapatan condemns continuing rights violations, calls for an end to OBL

The human rights alliance Karapatan condemns the brazen attack against Fr. Jose Francisco Talaban, whose convent was strafed by several armed men last June 26 in Casiguran, Aurora, and the continuing human rights violations spurred by the military’s extended counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya.

Speaking at a press conference on the report of the Ecumenical Solidarity Mission which was conducted on August 24 to 28, Karapatan Deputy Secretary General Jigs Clamor expressed alarm over the Mission’s findings which shows a characteristic pattern of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in its counter-insurgency campaign. 

“Karapatan has documented a number of cases wherein the victims are vilified as members or sympathizers of armed revolutionary groups, such as the New People’s Army; harassed and intimidated by state security forces, prior to graver human rights violations,” Clamor deplored.  

Families of desaparecidos march to Mendiola

 

Noynoy, where is justice?

Families of desaparecidos called on the Aquino administration to act immediately to surface all victims of enforced disappearances, as they march to Mendiola on the International Day of the Disappeared.  

Led by Desaparecidos (Families of the Disappeared for Justice), families brought masks bearing the faces of the 206 victims disappeared during the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime. 

Desaparecidos deputy secretary general Lorena Santos criticized the continued silence and inaction of the Aquino government on the cases of enforced disappearances. 

“How can we truly believe that Pres. Noynoy Aquino is sincere in resolving cases of human rights violatios, if it continues to be silent on the thousands of human rights violations under Arroyo? How can we be at peace if Arroyo and her former minions who were behind extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances are comfortably sitted in the halls of Congress,” Santos said. 

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.