Group slams Aquino’s failure to end Palparan-type tyranny

MEMBERS of urban poor group Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay) staged a protest action in Quezon City calling for the immediate release of Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano.

Vegas and Camposano were charged at the Regional Trial Court Branch 64 in Labo, Camarines Norte with five counts of murder, one count of theft and one count of frustrated murder. Initial interviews with Vegas and Camposano and documents obtained revealed that the charges were filed in connection with their alleged participation in an ambush of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) by the New People’s Army in Maot, Labo, Camarines Norte in April 29 of this year.

According to Kadamay, Palparan-type abduction of progressive individuals has not stopped even under the Aquino administration.

Days before the International Human Rights Day on December 10, Kadamay slammed the failure of the Aquino administration to capture Ex-General Jovito Palparan, Jr which activists called as the ‘People’s Butcher’. Palparan was issued with a warrant of arrest by Malolos Regional Trial Court last year for the abduction of two student activists from the University of the Philippines. Ever since, Palparan has been a fugitive.

The protesters brought with them a donation box with the face of Palparan supposedly to gather financial support from ordinary citizens to add up to the P2 million reward for the capture of the fugitive military leader. The initiative aims to show that everyone is interested in making the military leader, who is among the worst human right violators in Philippine history, accountable for his crimes.

“As long as Palparan remains at large, and abductions and killings continue to hunt progressive individuals, the Aquino administration has no right to claim that it has far better human right record than the previous administration,” Kadamay said.

“Illegal arrests, detention and even killings have hunted political activists here in Metro Manila– violations that not even the previous Arroyo had committed in the past,” Kadamay claimed.

Ten urban poor leaders and individuals in Metro Manila have been slain under the Aquino administration, compared to none under Arroyo. There were at least victims of extra-judicial killings of urban poor nationwide according to Kadamay. The group also documented hundreds of urban poor illegally arrested under the Aquino administration resulting from Aquino’s demolition rampage of urban poor communities.

The super-body which Aquino created to investigate the unabated human right violations under his administration will remain inutile as long as the counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan exists. Just like during the previous administrations, red-tagging leading to the total liquidation of legal militant groups are a practice of the government.

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