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Heightened repression and rights violations mark Aquino’s 3rd year in power–Karapatan

No different from the Aquino I and the other “democratic” administrations after Marcos

Press Statement, June 29, 2013
Reference:    Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

“As predicted, the Noynoy Aquino government on its third year, went on a rampage against its own people, attacking communities and individuals who stand in the way of private, local and foreign big business which, Aquino, like Marcos and the series of “democratic” governments  after the dictator, serves best,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan.

From July 2010 (start of Aquino’s presidency) to April 30, 2013, Karapatan’s documentation shows:

•          142 victims of extrajudicial killing

•          164 cases of frustrated killing

•          16 victims of enforced disappearance

•          293 persons arrested and detained

•          16 children killed, with ages ranging from four to 15

Karapatan said when Noynoy Aquino launched his own version of ‘unsheathing the sword of war’ last year, “it, expectedly, resulted to more cases of rights violations and abuses by the AFP, especially because only six months are left in the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan Phase 1.” In previous statements, Karapatan said the deadline of Oplan Bayanihan is timed with the US government’s so-called “Asian pivot.”

The same pattern as Gloria Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) exists, “the victims of rights violations are the same people who were displaced by big business like logging and transnational mining companies that are coddled by the Aquino government; the victims are the same people who are vulnerable to disasters because of imperialist plunder of the country’s natural resources and the consequent environmental degradation; the victims are the same poor Filipino people who are targets of the government’s red tagging when they assert their rights.”

Karapatan characterized Aquino’s three years as “prime time for impunity as perpetrators, both under Aquino’s regime and from Arroyo’s, remain unpunished and are instead promoted to positions where they wield more power to attack the people.”  Karapatan opposed the promotion of Gen. Eduardo Año, Lt. Gen. Jorge Segovia, Brig. Gen. Aurelio B. Baladad, among others, who have pending cases for rights violations.  “Aquino should also account for his inaction on the rights violations of the previous regime. It is not sufficient to point fingers at Arroyo only when it is convenient for Noynoy to do so,” Hilao-Enriquez said.

“With prime suspects missing or hidden, killings remain unsolved even with “high profile” cases such as the killing of Fr. Pops Tentorio, PIME, long time Philippine resident and Dutch volunteer, Willem Geertman, broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega, and the gruesome Ampatuan massacre,” added Enriquez.

Hilao-Enriquez added, “rights violations are in the context of Aquino’s anti-people economic policies like the Public-Private Partnership. The Aquino government offers the poor Filipino people’s lives in a silver platter to private and foreign companies which, apart from enjoying tax holidays, are raking in super profits by jacking up prices of basic commodities, transportation fare, medical and educational services.  Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan indeed serves to protect all these globalization policies.  The President and his media spinners boast of ‘economic growth’ that only the rich and influential in Philippine society can feel and enjoy.  A refrain heard and felt by the poor from Marcos’ martial law up to the present.”

“The victims of State terror and human rights violations are those who challenge inequality and oppression; and those who work to change all these. Three years of violence and trickery to cover up such violence is more than enough for the Filipino people. The people should stand up for their rights and stop the plunder, state terror and impunity that engender more human rights violations,” concluded Hilao-Enriquez.

[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
Web: http://www.karapatan.org

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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