De Lima, peace talks save PNoy’s dismal HR rating

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—President Simeon “PNoy” Aquino III’s first 100 days in Malacañang were characterized by “missed opportunities,” especially in promoting human rights, Amnesty International Philippines (AIPh) has said.

“During his first 100 days in office, President Aquino has highlighted serious human rights issues in the Philippines but has yet to take concrete action against them,” AIPh director Aurora Parong said in an emailed statement.

Parong said that although Aquino made “thoughtful comments” about human rights issues during his inaugural address, he “failed to translate his words into action.”

According to AIPh, the President missed opportunities to end human abuses by militias, paramilitary forces and private armies and to take steps to prevent extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

It added that the Chief Executive failed to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.

The group admitted, however, lauded President Aquino’s appointment of former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chief Leila de Lima as secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The AIPh hailed her appointment because Secretary de Lima is a “justice secretary with strong commitment to human rights.”

It also hailed the President’s move to renew the Mindanao peace talks.

Parong said Mr. Aquino still has many chances to improve his record in addressing human rights violations in the country.

“In losing his father, President Aquino has personal experience of a grave human rights violation,” she said, adding: “The President is now in a position where he can help protect the human rights of all Filipinos.” Bong D. Fabe

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