24 June 2011
MANILA — “You cannot escape accountability with another lie,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez in reaction to Gen. Eduardo Oban’s statement that there is “no HR (human rights) violations this year.”
AFP chief Gen. Eduardo Oban earlier said in a news report that Oplan Bayanihan, Aquino’s version of GMA’s Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program, is “working” because it abides by ‘’human rights and international humanitarian law.’’
“It is an oxymoron to say that a counter-insurgency program is respectful of human rights,” retorts Hilao-Enriquez. “The ordinary folks, whom the President referred to as his boss, are the victims of Oplan Bayanihan—they were displaced from their homes and communities, harassed, arrested and detained, tortured and killed.
Karapatan has documented 17 persons killed through extrajudicial means from January to mid-June 2011. This brings the number of people killed under P-Noy to 45. “It may be recalled that on P-Noy’s fifth day in office, on July 5, 2010, Bayan Muna leader Fernando Baldomero was shot dead in front of his 12 year old son,” said Hilao-Enriquez. Baldomero is the provincial chairperson of the Bayan Muna partylist and a member of Selda, an organization of former political detainees.
KARAPATAN’s documentation also noticed that the human rights violations committed under the P-Noy government exhibit the same patterns and characteristics of the forms used during the period of the OBL: Killers aboard motorcycles, leaders of peasant organizations killed, and in front of their children; soldiers looking for members of the NPA but were actually turning their guns against the unarmed population; soldiers campaigning against people’s organizations that they brand as leftist organizations or fronts.
“While this government adds up to the cases of human rights violations, it has yet to render justice to the victims of human rights violations under the past regime. To date, GMA and her generals remain scot free from the crimes they have committed against the Filipino people,” said Hilao-Enriquez.