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.
Nearing the 6th year of the disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos, his family, friends, and various organizations such as Karapatan and Families of Desaparecidos for Justice held a mass for Jonas at the Quiapo Church this morning. The mass was celebrated by His Eminence Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, D.D., Archbishop of the Diocese of Manila. Dubbed as “Mass for Truth and Justice,” the activity was sponsored by the Free Jonas Burgos Movement, End Impunity Alliance and the Promotion for Church People’s Response.
On April 22, families, friends and rights groups sought for the prosecution and jailing of former general, Jovito Palparan Jr., also known as “The Butcher” who had been involved in numerous cases of human rights violations in areas he was assigned in.
“It has been ten long years since the killing of human rights defender Eden Marcellana and peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy in 2003 but the families of both Marcellana and Gumanoy, and the rest of the Filipino people still await for justice to be served. The Aquino administration may not be directly accountable for the killing of Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy, but the Aquino government is responsible for the continuing impunity in the country that keeps the military killers out of jail," said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Karapatan, through its secretary general Cristina Palabay, today called on Malacanang to take concrete steps against the elements of the 67th IB in Davao Oriental for the continuous harassment of the delegates of a national fact-finding and humanitarian mission who are now in Sitio Cabuyao, Bgy. Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental.
AFP today presented before the Court of Appeals its witness, Luis Rayos, to supposedly prove that security guard Rolly Panesa is the high ranking CPP-NPA official “Benjamin Mendoza.” Rayos is 40 years old and claims to be a rebel returnee who is constantly monitored by the military.
KARAPATAN strongly condemned the recent spate of human rights violations in Compostela Valley that happened in a span of days, with the killing of an eight-year old boy in the municipality of Mabini and the injuries on two other kids brought about by indiscriminate firing of soldiers, and the illegal arrest of two civilians in the municipality of Laak.
After CA decision and new evidence on military involvement in Burgos disappearance
"We challenge Pres. Aquino to remove ISAFP Chief Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año from his post and hold him accountable for the enforced disappearance of Jonas and other human rights violations," Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said.
The Burgos family yesterday submitted new evidence to the Supreme Court including the picture of Jonas allegedly under military detention. Two weeks ago, the Court of Appeals ruled on the writ of Amparo on the case of Jonas. "All of these point to one incontrovertible truth: that the enforced disappearance of Jonas and other desaparecidos are perpetrated by the AFP," Palabay said.
“Jalandoni Campos’ arrest is blatant political harassment against progressive people’s organizations and partylists,”, states Dr. Naty Castro, secretary general of Karapatan Caraga.
Karapatan called on the Aquino government for a transparent and credible process in the selection of the members of the Human Rights Victims Claims Board. The Claims Board is mandated by RA 10368 (Human Rights Violation Victims Reparation and Recognition Act of 2013) to formulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the said law; and to process the claims of victims of human rights violations during martial law.