Promotion of General Segovia another affront to human rights

Karapatan deplores and protests the Aquino government’s promotion of Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia, commander of the 10th Infantry “Agila” Division and will soon replace the outgoing chief, Lt. Gen. Arthur Tabaquero of the Eastern Mindanao Command.

Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Karapatan chairperson said that the “promotion clearly shows the government’s low regard for human rights and its insensitivity, if not outright callousness, to the demand for justice of victims of rights violations. Maj. Gen. Segovia was one of the respondents to the 15M damage suit filed by the Morong 43 health workers for their illegal arrest, detention and torture under the Arroyo regime. He is also among the “missing” respondents who have yet to be served the court summons several months after such were issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court. The court server supposedly cannot locate the whereabouts of Segovia.”

Karapatan said that the promotion came at the heels of the refusal of Brig. Gen. Herbert Yambing of the Office of the Provost Marshall General of the AFP and the Philippine National Police, through Records Management Division Chief Manuel Gaerlan, CEO VI, to locate and provide information on Segovia and other respondents both from the AFP and the PNP such as Col. Cristobal Zaragosa, Col. Aurelio Baladad, Lt. Col. Jaime Abawag, Maj. Manuel Tabion and P/Supt. Marion Balonglong.  

Hilao-Enriquez said the action of the AFP and PNP officials is a mocking slap on the “rule of law” that this government has been extolling to high heavens  and impede the delivery of swift justice for the health workers who have suffered for 10 months in the hands of the perpetrators from these institutions. “This is simply ridiculous and revolting! Is this a case of a highly visible military official who cannot be located by the court and whose whereabouts are unknown to the Provost Marshall or is it a case of a “missing” General who is promoted? “

The Segovia promotion shows the Aquino administration’s stance in pursuing justice for victims of human rights violations under Arroyo. This is the same reason why the health workers, together with other victims and their relatives, have taken up the task to file the countercharges against Arroyo and her top military and police officials, instead of waiting for the still-unfulfilled campaign promise of Aquino,” she commented. Aside from Segovia, Zaragosa, Baladad, Abawag, Tabion, Balonglong and former President Arroyo, former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, Gen. Victor Ibrado, and Gen. Delfin Bangit.

Enriquez likewise scored Aquino’s tolerance on GMA’s generals. “Aside from promoting Segovia,  the Aquino government is annoyingly lackadaisical  on the arrest of former Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr. Palparan was charged with serious illegal detention, kidnapping and other rights violations against Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, two UP students who remain missing to this date.  “Almost four months after the issuance of warrant of arrest against former General Palparan, Jr., he remains scot-free from arrest and prosecution.  This kind of “Noynoying” is gravely insulting to the victims and their families, to say the least,” she concluded.