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MANILA, Philippines -- Two organizations scored President Benigno Aquino III saying he had ignored human rights organizations, with Karapatan saying he “has been, in fact, inflicting terror and violence against the Filipino people.”
For its part, Task Force Detainees said, “Human rights are not a priority of PNoy (Aquino’s nickname),” and declared him “a hopeless case.”
“In the first two years of the Aquino administration from July 2010 to June 30 this year, Karapatan has documented 99 victims of extrajudicial killings; 11 victims of enforced disappearances; and 107 victims of illegal arrests and detention,” the group said in a statement.
Karapatan spokesperson Cristina Palabay also said there are 385 political prisoners to date, including trade union leader Reynante Gamara and National Democratic Front consultants Tirso Alcantara and Alan Jazmines.
"The second year of the Aquino administration is being punctuated with shamelessly deceptive slogans on economic development and human rights to prop up the administration’s image especially in the international community. But it is clear that the Filipino people have seen the truth behind the cacophony of these lies. The severe landlessness and hunger, the multitudes of jobless and the growing number of homeless are more stinging realities, more visible, more audible and felt than any other PR spin from Malacanang," Palabay said.
She also scored the continued failure to arrest retired general Jovito Palparan, who is wanted for the disappearance of University of the Philippines students Sheryn Cadapan and Karen Empeno, and Aquino’s failure to fulfill the promise he made in his 2011 SONA to enact the law compensating victims of the Marcos dictatorship even as “many of the victims, like martial law activists Maita Gomez, Romy Luneta and Bong Barsoles, had passed away due to illnesses."
“It seems that PNoy is a hopeless case. One year after the 2011 hunger strike for freedom and human rights of political prisoners, his government has not released a single political detainee. In fact, this administration is deaf and blind to the reality of political prisoners,” TFDP executive director Emmanuel Amistad said in a separate statement.
“No human rights agenda, not a single perpetrator in jail, no justice for human rights victims, continued killings of human rights defenders, this is the track record of PNoy. His actions have always favored big business and not the plight of the poor. Ang matuwid na daan ni PNoy ay para lamang sa iilan. Ang kaunlaran na pinagmamalaki ng pamahalaan ay para lamang sa iilan hindi para sa taumbayan (The straight path of PNoy is only for the few. The development the administration boasts of is only for the few, not the people),” TFDP said.
The group also slammed the failure of the administration to craft a National Human Rights Action Plan, which TFDP called “a long overdue obligation of the Philippine government.”
“Even the UN Human Rights Council has recommended its issuance to once and for all give a roadmap for Philippine government’s obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of the Filipino people,” Amistad said.