“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.
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.
Rights group SELDA (Samahan ng Ex-Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto) questioned the Aquino government’s failure to form the Human Rights Victims Claims Board which will process the application for reparation and recognition of martial law victims.
“It has been two months since Pres. Aquino signed the bill into law. What is taking the government so long to take the initial step to implement the law? Are the martial law victims in for a very long wait again?” SELDA national coordinator Roneo Clamor asked.
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.