International organizations score Philippines rights situation

“The things that BS Aquino failed to mention about the Philippines to European Union heads of states are those which need much attention, like the human rights situation in the country,” Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said on the eve of BS Aquino’s return from his state visits in European countries. “The human rights situation is in a sorry state that even organizations outside the Philippines are reacting,” Palabay said.

In Madrid, Spain, Spanish organizations sent a letter to BS Aquino on his visit to said country. “…we feel the moral obligation to take advantage of your short stay in Madrid to share with you our deep concern caused by reports, through various channels and outside ideologies, that, for a long time we have been receiving on the situation of human rights in Philippines, ” the letter stated citing the recent Karapatan-documented human rights violations.

Meanwhile in North America, Canada-based human rights organization stated, “The Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (CPSHR), joins the Filipino human rights defenders, environmental advocates, people’s organizations, and international rights groups in strongly denouncing the killing of Engr. Fidella “Delle” Salvador, a people’s engineer, a community development worker and a woman of courage.”

Killed on September 5, 2014 by the 41st Infantry Battalion in Lacub, Abra, Engr. Salvador was in a Abra to monitor projects as a consultant of Cordillera Disaster Response and Development Services.

“We note, that the killing Engr. Salvador is the latest extra-judicial killing perpetrated against an environmental advocate, specially a disaster responder. A total of seventy-seven (77) environmental advocates have been killed since 2001, of which thirty-nine (39) killings occurred under your Administration,” the CPSHR letter said.

“BS Aquino could not anymore hide the ills of the Philippine society with plain words such as ‘good governance’. Even international organizations are aware of the Mr. Aquino’s ‘bad governance’ and he won’t be able to escape issues such as poverty, corruption and human rights in foreign land,” Palabay said.

The Spanish organization asked the Philippines to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. It also urged the government to “ensure to take necessary steps to end all violations of human rights of the impoverished majority of your country, and that the Right to the Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non Repetition becomes a reality for victims during your term and during previous terms.”

The Spain-based organizations who signed the letter to BS Aquino were: APDHE (Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de España) COMADEHCO (Comité por la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos en Colombia) ICID (Iniciativas de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo) IEPALA (Instituto de Estudios Políticos para América Latina y África) IU (Izquierda Unida) Justicia por Colombia OSPAAAL (Organización de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de África, Asia y América Latina) GM-Los Verdes Confederación CDHHG (Comisión de Derechos Humanos Hispano-Guatemalteca).

“We urge your government to resume the Peace Talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDF) to earnestly address the root causes of armed conflict in issues affecting the majority of the Filipino people: landlessness, poverty and hunger, environmental destruction, human rights violations to name a few. It is only through addressing the basic issues that are affecting the majority of the population, you call your “bosses,” could a nation achieve a just and lasting peace,” CPSHR letter pointed out.

“During the time of Mrs. Arroyo, the international organizations similarly called the government’s attention to the endless cases of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances,” Palabay said. “Look where she is now: imprisoned,” Palabay concluded.

Cristina “Tinay” Palabay
Secretary General

Angge Santos
Media Liaison

[email protected]

Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Building
#1 Maaralin corner Matatag Streets
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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