News Release, 18 July 2013 – The killing of two suspected members of the Ozamiz gang by their police escorts shows Philippine state security forces have not changed their martial law ways, the spokesperson of the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) said today.
“The incident has tell tale signs of a rubout,” said Rep. Teddy Casiño, spokesperson for the three-day ICHRPP which is set to open tomorrow, July 19.
Casiño likened the brazenness of the killing of the gang members to how the many other cases of human rights violations were committed. “It shows how impunity in violating human rights still persist among police, military and paramilitary groups. They think they can get away with murder because hardly anyone is punished for extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations.”
Casiño pointed out, as an example, the promotion of a number of Gloria Arroyo’s generals and military and police officials who were given plum positions in the Aquino administration despite their involvement in a string of human rights violations and charges filed against them.
Casiño noted the “zero conviction of perpetrators of human rights violations despite Pres. Aquino’s promise to punish perpetrators emboldens state security forces to commit more rights violations.”
The continuing culture of impunity, Casiño said is among the concerns of the international community and one of the reasons for the ICHRPP. “The conference will look into the continuing practices of state security forces in systematically violating the rights not only of suspected criminals but also of activists and political dissenters.”
Casiño is set to welcome the more than 250 delegates from 25 countries in tomorrow’s opening of the ICHRPP at the Great Eastern Hotel, Quezon City.###
Rep. Teddy Casiño, spokesperson for the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
Cristina Guevarra, media liaison, 0917-5230396 / 0949-1772928
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