Karapatan is releasing this 2008 report on the human rights situation in the Philippines as the world observes the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). This report principally features cases of violation of human rights, as recorded by Karapatan, from January to October 2008. It also includes a review of escalating attacks against human rights defenders since 2001 and our experience so far with the writ of amparo. It reveals that amidst our celebration of the global triumphs of our advocacy for human rights, social justice remains a work-in-progress in the Philippines.
The almost complete unmasking to the public of a pretentious rule marks the second year of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s presidency.
Despite supposedly improving economic statistics, the majority of the people are still mired in poverty reeling from high prices of basic commodities and services, unemployment, unlivable wages, sham land reform, inadequate housing and so on. Even its much touted campaign against poverty is under question as more cases of corruption by people from the Aquino administration surface. No hope can be pinned on this president whose government fails to lighten and instead adds to the burden that the people, especially from the basic sectors, endure.
Noynoy Aquino’s reckless implementation of privatization, liberalization, deregulation and denationalization, all earmarks of neoliberal globalization, proves his puppetry to U.S. imperialism. Just like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino has been anointed to be the U.S. lackey in Asia especially in its current “pivot to Asia-Pacific.” In exchange for Obama’s pat on the head and American military aid,Malacanang welcomes stronger U.S. military presence in the country and perhaps even the possible return of U.S. bases.
The year 2007 is a dangerous time for the Filipino people as state terror, impunity in human rights violations and general lawlessness grip the nation. The government of Gloria Macapagal-arroyo has done little to stop the political killings and disappearances except take token steps to assuage local and internationale outcry. On the other hand, the year also signals victories in the people's relentless struggle against political repression and state terrorism as the victim's clamor for justice and democracy is echoed here and abroad.
THE YEAR 2006 IS THE WORST FOR HUMAN RIGHTS SINCE
THE TOPPLING OF THE MARCOS FASCIST DICTATORSHIP IN
The Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo regime ran roughshod on the Filipino people’s
civil liberties and human rights as it imposed a state of martial rule and
launched a campaign of terror in an effort to desperately cling to power.
Propped up by the United States government, the Arroyo regime was able to
muster enough political, military, and economic resources to launch a counteroffensive
against those seeking to oust her from power.
The Philippine human rights situation in 2005 can be characterized by the wanton use of repression and state terror by a scandal-rocked President desperately clinging to power in the face of the people’s rejection.
The Arroyo regime suffered its worst political crisis this year as evidence of cheating and electoral fraud began to surface in May, putting Pres. Arroyo’s legitimacy on the line. While attempts to impeach the President were thwarted in the administration-dominated Congress, the charges of electoral fraud, corruption and massive human rights violations stuck, haunting Arroyo for the rest of the year.