Olalia said the UNHRC decision would encourage human rights victims and their families all over to seek international recourse especially if domestic remedies are ‘frustratingly prolonged or even illusory.’
The UNHRC said the Philippine government is under obligation to take effective measures to ensure that the criminal proceedings are expeditiously completed, that all the perpetrators are prosecuted.
A few days after Evangeline received a copy of the UNHRC decision, she learned that the local court in Kidapawan acquitted the main suspect to the crime. Evangeline, now spokesperson of Hustisya!, an organization of the families of victims of extrajudicial killings, is frustrated. “Instead of complying with the views of the UNHRC, the Philippine government continues to deny us justice,” she said.
“The main suspect roams freely in various camps such as Fort Magsaysay and Fort Bonifacio,” Evangeline said.
The UNHRC also said the victim’s family must be granted full reparation, including adequate compensation and the State party must submit within 180 days, information about the measures taken to give effect to the UNHRC’s views.
Olalia said Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, former Gen. Jovito Palparan and their cohorts should be criminally, civilly and administratively accountable for the killing of thousands of activists and other civilians from 2001 to 2010.
Evangeline said the UNHRC ruling must also serve as a warning to the new Aquino administration. “Aquino must not repeat the atrocities of the past administration. However, it is alarming that in less than 100 days of his administration, there are already16 victims of extrajudicial killings,” she said.
Evangeline attributed the new spate of killings to the extension of the counterinsurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL). (Bulatlat.com)