“The Aquino administration is not just incompetent in resolving human rights violations. In many cases, the state perpetrates these crimes as well” – Pauline Gidget Estella, CEGP national president.
Two years and five months into President Benigno Aquino III’s term, Karapatan, human rights group documented 114 cases of extrajudicial killings (EJK) and 70 cases of torture. Many of these violations are allegedly committed by the government through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), whose commander in chief is the chief executive Aquino.
Of the 114 victims, 66 were peasants who are striving for genuine land reform. “As in the case of Hacienda Luisita, the numerous human rights violations were spawned by the clashing interests of the landlords and the farmers who are rightful owners of the land,” said Estella.
“Indigenous people have also become targets of human rights violations as they struggle against destructive mining,” said Estella, citing the case of the B’laan tribe killings. Last October 8, Juvy, two-months pregnant, and her two sons, aged 13 and 8, were killed by alleged members of the AFP 27th Infantry Battalion.
Ten percent of the victims of EJK under Aquino administration are indigenous people.
“It has been the legacy of every Aquino administration to brand members of progressive organizations as members of the New People’s Army, thus making them targets under the Order of Battle, a list of individuals for neutralization. Let us not forget the time when several farmers were brutally killed in the Mendiola Massacre, a massacre that occurred at a time when Aquino’s mother was also the commander in chief of the alleged perpetrators,” said Estella.