CHR report was far from truth – rights group

GROUPS lead by Karapatan in Southern Tagalog expressed disbelief over the statements of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and Malacañang on the human rights abuses in the country.

The groups, who are now on a protest camp-out in front of the CHR main office claimed that the statements “were released just in time for Human Rights Day but are devoid of any sincere action to resolve the cases and bring justice to the victims.”

Karapatan-ST is referring to the recent admittance of CHR Commissioner Etta Rosales that torture, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances are still happening under Aquino’s term.

“Admitting is nothing compared to actually doing concrete action.” Glen Malabanan, Karapatan-ST secretary general said. “Inuupuan lamang ni Rosales ang mga isinampa naming kaso sa CHR,” said Malabanan. “Rosales’ count of 96 human rights abuses under Aquino’s time was too small to begin with.

According to Karapatan’s documentation, in the Southern Tagalog region alone, violations have already risen to 20 cases of extra judicial killings, 3 enforced disappearances, 43 illegal arrests and 33 illegal detentions.

“Rosales is obviously scraping-off the grave cases of human rights abuses directly linked to the military and her own organization Akbayan,” Malabanan stressed referring to Akbayan’s nature of red-tagging activists which eventually lead to the political killings of different militant group leaders. “We are very much in doubt that cases will actually be resolved since she is affiliated with organizations that are part of the human rights abusers,” she added.

Meanwhile, Malabanan also took a jab at Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda’s statement that the Palace is “emphatic” and is “frowning on extrajudicial killings”.

“Mahiya naman si Noynoy sa kaluluwa ng mga magulang niya. Hindi kayang pagtakpan ng pagiging Martial Law victim ng pamilyang Aquino ang nagaganap na paglabag sa karapatan ng mamamayan sa administrasyon niya ngayon,” Malabanan added.

The protest camp-out is an offshoot of the weeklong Lakbayan from Lucena City last December 3 that culminated in Mendiola on December 10.

Karapatan said they are set to file both administrative and criminal charges against the identified perpetrators of rights abuses.

The cases include the kidnapping and torture of Rolly Panesa, a security guard mistaken as an NPA leader.

Other recent case is the abduction of a college student in Laguna who was harassed and interrogated by military to divulge information of her father’s involvement in a militant transport group.

“There will be more. Filing charges against the perpetrators is to show how sincere we are in helping the victims of rights abuses. This is also to challenge the judiciary system in the country,” Malabanan said.


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