Berdugo general Año, purveyor of fascist attacks vs the Filipino people

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has produced numerous butchers, who left pools of blood in their trails, to protect the interests of the elite and rich in the country through counter-insurgency programs. With Lt. General Eduardo Año, a monster with a chilling record of rights abuses, at the helm of the military, the implementation of Oplan Kapayapaan and the military’s all-out war declaration, fascist attacks against the people have intensified,’ said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay during today’s protest action at the Gate 3 of the Ateneo de Manila University in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. 

Año at ADMU

Año was reportedly invited as speaker in a forum sponsored by the Political Science Department of the university. He was slated to speak on the topic “Protecting the People and the State.”

“Lt. Gen. Año is a rabid implementer of counter-insurgency campaigns of Arroyo, Aquino and the current administration, continuing the anti-people and repressive tradition of the military and following the footsteps of fellow butchers Palparan, Iriberri, Visaya and Baladad,” Palabay continued. 

According to Karapatan, Año’s grave human rights record include the disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos in 2007 during the Macapagal-Arroyo administration, when he was the head of the Intelligence Security Group of the Philippine Army. Despite opposition to his promotion, he was appointed as chief of the Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP) from 2012 to 2014, under the BS Aquino III regime. Political killings of farmers and indigenous peoples in Mindanao started to increase, while illegal arrests of activists and NDFP consultants Benito and Wilma Tiamzon occurred. 

From July 2014 to July 2015, during Año’s term as commanding general of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, Karapatan recorded 13 political killings, 99 illegal arrests, and more than 11,000 victims of civilian endangerment through military encampment on farmers’ homes, schools, medical facilities and other public places. The massacre of three Lumad leaders in Paquibato, Davao City, the filing of trumped-up charges against 14 leaders of progressive organizations in Southern Mindanao in July 2015, and violations of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) after the desecration of remains of NPA commander Leoncio Pitao and medic Vanessa Limpag are among the documented cases of human rights abuses by the 10th IDPA under Año. 

He was recently appointed as the new AFP Chief of Staff on December 7, 2016. Since his assumption as AFP chief, Karapatan has already documented 14 incidents of political killings. “Año’s leadership has been a continuation of the military’s stark record as human rights violators. His promotion to higher posts in the AFP is proof of the prevailing climate of impunity in the country. His overzealous implementation of US-directed military campaigns against movements and peoples asserting our sovereignty show where his loyalties are,” added Palabay. 

“The military’s efforts to sabotage the GRP-NDFP peacetalks, the new counter-insurgency Oplan Kapayapaan and an all-out-war campaign set the stage for more rights abuses. Warmongers like Año are the only ones who benefit when the roots of the armed conflict remain unsolved,” Palabay concluded.