AFP P19.25M reward to “informers” a rip-off at the expense of people’s rights — Karapatan

By KARAPATAN (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines has no right to brag about the capture of ‘terrorist personalities and communist leaders’ through their so-called informants. It’s a shame that it spent P19.25 million of the nation’s money for capturing and torturing people like security guard Rolly Panesa and presenting him as “Benjamin Mendoza”, a high-ranking official of the Communist Party of the Philippines, for the prize of P5.6 million. It’s simply a rip-off, an organized racket,” commented Karapatan’s secretary general Cristina Palabay. Panesa has been in jail for 10 months now.

Palabay added, “the AFP committed the same violation to Oligario Sebas, a resident of Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, who was also jailed because of the AFP’s claim that he is “Felimon Mendrez”, allegedly a CPP leader in Negros.”

The AFP said Sebas had a P5.2 million on his head and was on the list of the Department of National Defense-Department of Interior and Local Government Joint Orders on Reward or Joint Order 14.2012. Sebas was released through a writ of habeas corpus.

Karapatan, in earlier statements, lambasted the Joint Order 14.2012 saying “it is no different from the secret hit list of Gloria Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya which resulted to thousands of cases of human rights violations ranging from illegal arrest and detention, enforced disappearances and political killings.”

The said DND-DILG Joint Order was used to legitimize the enforced disappearance, illegal arrest, and detention of Estelita T. Tacalan, a 60-year old peasant organizer and rural health worker in Misamis Oriental. Tacalan was reported missing on 27 April and was surfaced on 7 May at the Dipolog City Jail where she is currently detained.

“The DND-DILG’s secret hitlist should be scrapped as it has become the basis to arrest, detain, and torture people on false charges; or worse, disappeared or killed. The AFP should also be held accountable for squandering the people’s money to violate people rights. These acts confirm the AFP’s own admission that the Aquino government’s Oplan Bayanihan is a failure” said Palabay.

Cristina “Tinay” Palabay
Secretary General, KARAPATAN

Angge Santos
Media Liaison, KARAPATAN

[email protected]
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training and campaign.

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