June, 2013

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.

Heightened repression and rights violations mark Aquino’s 3rd year in power

No different from the Aquino I and the other “democratic” administrations after Marcos 

“As predicted, the Noynoy Aquino government on its third year, went on a rampage against its own people, attacking communities and individuals who stand in the way of private, local and foreign big business which, Aquino, like Marcos and the series of “democratic” governments  after the dictator, serves best,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan.  

Mothers of missing Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan join people's protest against torture and illegal detention

"Sobra nang pahirap ang pitong taong paghahanap! Sobra na talaga!" (Seven years of searching is too much of an agony. It's just too much!) Concepcion Empeño and Linda Cadapan, mothers of missing Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan decried as the disappearance of their daughter reached its 7th year. 
Cadapan Empeño 
It was on this day, seven years ago that Sherlyn and Karen were taken by several armed men in combat boots in Hagonoy, Bulacan. The two women and a farmer Manuel Merino was dragged out of the houses they were staying in, hands tied and blindfolded. Sherlyn, who was pregnant at that time,  was kicked at the stomach.

Use of torture exists under the Aquino II government

On Aquino’s 3rd year

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2013 

“No matter how the Aquino government denies the use of torture, state security forces in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) resort to and apply it to their victims, inside and outside prison,” said Marie Hilao-Enriquez, chairperson of Karapatan. 

On Noynoy Aquino’s 3rd year: Bombing used to “clear” target communities

The bombing of communities, especially the resource-rich ancestral domain of indigenous peoples, in northern and southern Philippines is part of the Aquino government’s war tactics as it intensifies the implementation of its own version of Oplan Bantay Laya, the Oplan Bayanihan. 

Int’l lawyers group urges resumption of peace talks, prosecution of rights violators

"The recent statement of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) is a much needed boost to the Filipino people’s call to resume the peace talks and to end the culture of impunity in the country," Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson of Karapatan, said. Established in 1946, the IADL is an organization of lawyers worldwide, which has a consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).