Students and youth groups marked the International Human Rights Day with indignation as they march to Mendiola demanding justice over Noynoy Aquino’s long list of human rights violations.
According to Marc Lino Abila, National President of College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), the Aquino government can no longer cover-up the piling cases of human rights violations in its four years in power. A total of 204 victims of extra judicial killings, 21 enforced disappearances, 99 tortures were documented by Karapatan from July 2010-June 2014.
“These are all part of Aquino’s systematic way to silence his critics and the people demanding for their rights. The increasing number of political prisoners, most of them arrested for trumped up criminal charges, is an evidence of Aquino’s cowardice instead facing the people’s clamor,” said Abila.
According to Karapatan, there are 208 political prisoners jailed by the Aquino regime, 15 of them are National Democratic Front (NDF) consultants and staff. These include the abduction and illegal detention of two union organizers Randy Vegas, a former National Secretary General of CEGP, and Raul Composano on December 2012. Also, the arrest of Benito and Wilma Tiamzon, both NDF consultants, is a grave violation of Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) and therefore illegal.
“The accumulating number of NDF consultants who were illegally arrested and detained is very alarming and has serious implications to the peace negotiations between the government of the Philippines (GPH) and NDF,” Abila stressed.
The group also said that the Aquino government’s use of brute force and state terror against the Filipino people are manifestations of the desperate attempt of the regime to stop the Filipino people from fighting for their basic rights and to ensure the implementation of the government anti-people programs. Killings and intensive militarization in the countryside are the methods used by the government to sow terror amongst the people.
Currently, there are 55 battalions of the Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) deployed in Mindanao. Most of the troops have established camps and outposts in schools and civilian facilities where military activities are prohibited. Affected communities already filed complaints against the military. Almost 1,000 families were affected because of increased military presence.
“How could Oplan Bayanihan be helpful to the people? Government troops bomb schools and Lumad communities. Aquino is the ‘Bomba King’ and indeed the Impunity King, he should be held accountable for all violations to the rights of the people,” Abila stated.
“The Filipino youth is denouncing all forms of human rights violations committed by the Aquino regime. Every child has the right of free and quality education. The Filipinos are struggling against landlessness and plunder of the country’s resources, rotten political system and intensifying foreign intervention, among others. The Filipino people must unite and fight state repression.” Abila ended.###