Australian rights defender: Philippines a paradise for the wealthy, purgatory for the rest

“Progress limited, some backsliding: needs to do better, but systemic barriers suggest will not improve,” is how Australian Professor Gill Boehringer, Esq. viewed the three years of the Aquino government.
 
Prof. Boehringer, an expert on contemporary state and corporate abuse of human rights, has written a number of articles on Philippine lawyers, human rights and the Philippine elections and justice system.
 
In a statement, he illustrated the Aquino regime’s track in the past three years, saying the Aquino administration “in order to maintain its anti-people program has dished up through an adoring media the self-serving and contentious message that the economy is doing really well, and receiving plaudits from round the globe; corruption is under attack; and the protection of human rights is improving and is far better than under his predecessor.”
 
But in reality, he quickly added, “it (the Aquino government) has failed to act to effectively prosecute and sanction human rights violators.” Prof. Boehringer also pointed to the government’s failure “to prioritize Freedom of Information legislation which is essential for a genuine human rights regime.”
 
In July, Prof. Boehringer joins human rights and peace advocates from all over the world who are attending the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines. Prof. Boehringer is set to address the conference on the U.S. government’s Asian pivot and the role of Australia as its ally.
 
“Of course we know that (Noynoy Aquino’s) real “bosses” (the rich and powerful) are not the ones who have to worry about their human rights being violated or ignored. The country is following the typical neo-liberal program whereby inequality worsens, hunger and poverty continue at high rates, citizens are driven overseas so their family may have a better income while unemployment, under-employment and child labor remain significant problems,” he observed. 
 
“In a country with a semi-feudal political-economic system generating a huge gap between rich and the masa, the former will fight in every way possible to maintain the structure of social, political and economic relations-including relations of coercion, violence and state/corporate terror- which have made the Philippines a paradise for the wealthy and purgatory for the rest,” he ended.
 
Prof. Boehringer is a former Dean of Macquarie University Law School, Sydney, Australia, and Former Director of the Center for the Critical and Historical Study of the Common Law. He was a delegate in the People’s International Observers’ Mission during the Philippine elections in 2007 and 2010, and personally observed the 2013 elections. ###