The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) blasts BS Aquino’s downplaying the gravity of media killings and human rights violations in the country before the international community.
In a forum organized by Egmont Institute in Brussels, Belgium on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila), Aquino said that not all so-called “media killings” are work-related.
“It is very infuriating for the part of the campus press that BS Aquino continues to disregard the unabated and continued violations to press freedom and human rights in the Philippines,” said Marc Lino Abila, CEGP National President.
“This is a travesty to journalists who are just practicing their obligation to seek the truth but were mercilessly killed to silence them. A mockery of our rights and our democracy,” Abila said further.
Oplan Bayanihan was also raised during the open forum. A participant said that it appears to “endanger” the lives of the people. Aquino promptly defended the counter-insurgency program saying that those are only “blanket statements” and he does not agree with the allegations that the program perpetrates human rights violations.
Abila also expressed his apprehension over the continued attacks on press freedom and human rights under the Aquino regime. To date, there are 25 cases of work-related killings since Aquino rose to power in 2010 according to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility. Cases of attempted killings, death threats, red-baiting, harassment and surveillance were also documented.
“It is obvious that Aquino is not serious to resolve these violations by devaluing the issue of media killings and human rights but plans to worsen it with the revision of Oplan Bayanihan. The government through the armed forces will continue to violate the rights of the people in the name of quelling the resistance of the people against Aquino’s anti-people policies,” Abila explained.
“But the people will not be cowed. The Filipino masses will continue to resist and struggle for genuine freedom and democracy,” Abila ended.###