“Actions speak louder than words. The arrest of another the peace consultant Rogelio Posadas and Gen. Emmanuel Bautista’s possible appointment as chair of Aquino’s peace panel with the National Democratic Front of the Philippine contradict whatever hints of openness Aquino is trying to put on with regards to peace,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said.
Karapatan demanded from the BS Aquino government to release immediately NDFP peace consultant Rogelio Posadas.
Posadas was illegally arrested on January 9, 2015, less than a week before Pope Francis’ arrival in Manila and at a time when political prisoners all over the country were gearing for the nationwide hunger strike. Posadas is covered by the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) with NDFP Identification Number ND978313 under the assumed name “Angel Jose.”
Posadas, 57, was travelling with two companions when a pick-up car overtook their motorcycle and flagged them down along the bio-ethanol plant in Brgy. Punao, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. Some 12 members of the Regional Public Safety Battalion of Philippine National Police showed up and at commanded, at gunpoint, Posadas and his companions to raise their arms. Led by Captain Tony Benitez, members of the arresting unit searched Posadas but found nothing. They were then brought to PNP headquarters of San Carlos City.
The police interrogated Posadas in a conference room. He was told his two companions would be immediately released if he admits he is Rogelio Posadas. At around 3:30 am, he told the police he was Rogelio Posadas. By 4:00a.m., the PNP released his companions. Posadas was later brought to Cadiz PNP Headquarters.
The authorities arrested Posadas using the same warrant used against human rights worker Zara Alvarez, a former political prisoner. Posadas is charged with murder, robbery in band, and homicide.
Bautista: a rights violator, knows no peace
“As the brains of Oplan Bayanihan, the counter-insurgency program of BS Aquino, Ret. Gen. Bautista is the last person fit to sit as chair of GPH’s peace panel with the NDFP,” Palabay commented. Under Oplan Bayanihan, Karapatan recorded 229 victims of extrajudicial killings, 26 enforced disappearances, 700 illegally arrested and detained, and over 46,000 victims of forced evacuations. “BS Aquino reached the full extent of shamelessness if he appoints a certified human rights violator in the peace panel,” Palabay said.
“With Gen. Bautista at the helm, we dread that not one of the three remaining substantive agenda will be tackled. As a militarist, Gen. Bautista seems uninterested in tackling the roots of the armed conflict,like Aquino, and has consistently employed militarist means in addressing them through Oplan Bayanihan,” Palabay said.
“The possibility of Gen. Bautista heading the panel does not encourage good will for the peace talks to continue. We call for a resumption of the talks that would tackle the substantive agenda and not a circus,” Palabay concluded.
Cristina “Tinay” Palabay
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
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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.