Youth groups march to CHR

KABATAAN Partylist led a demonstration in front of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) today before proceeding to the massive gathering at Mendiola for International Human Rights Day. At a time when recent events have seen state terrorism resurface.

It was announced last December 7 that the AFP had arrested two members, Randy Vegas and Raul Camposano of COURAGE, a progressive federation of government employees.  This is besides the fact that Aquino had also just announced the promotion of Brig. Gen. Eduardo Ano to the position of ISAFP director. The same man who allegedly engineered the abduction of Jonas Burgos among other activists and civilians.

“CHR Chairperson Etta Rosales has been ineffective and a poster girl for Aquino’s human rights charade with Oplan Bayanihan. OpBay has resulted in 129 extra judicial killings, 12 enforced disappearances, 72 victims of torture, over 400 political prisoners among others” said Kabataan Partylist National President, Atty. Terry Ridon.

“If the CHR genuinely wants to uphold human rights it should seek out those who reward brutality with power instead of cooperating with” Ridon referring to the promotion of Brig. Gen. Ano.

The two arrested members of COURAGE on the other hand are being accused of participating in an ambush by the New Peoples Army (NPA) in Camarines Norte. They were taken on December 3 and brought to Bicol by two arresting officers who neither introduced themselves as such nor did they state the purpose of the arrest.

“Aquino’s timing is terrible, the act itself comes at a time before the nation commemorates International Human Rights Day. These arrests even led to abusive interrogations by military personnel. The CHR however has remained quiet on the matter” added Ridon.

Ridon mentioned that the Youth have not forgotten that “Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan remain missing. It has been too long without an arrest since the warrant against Palparan the ‘Butcher’ was released while the warrant for these two people was only issued last October.”

“Both Aquino and the CHR need to get their priorities straight. Instead of going after the culprits, they punish the victims” said Ridon.

“We condemn these human rights violations and the impunity perpetrated by the administration. The youth will not stand by and watch their country, future and civil liberties be torn into shreds by programs like Oplan Bayanihan” concluded Ridon.

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