Hustisya warns: “More human rights violations to come under new Army Chief”

"There  will be more human rights violations under new Philippine Army Chief Major General Emmanuel Bautista and Oplan Bayanihan," Cristina Guevarra, secretary general of Hustisya (Victims United for Justice) warned the public today.

The new Army Chief Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bautista is the primary author of the Oplan Bayanihan.  According to Karapatan's documentation as of end of September, 2011, the said anti-insurgency program has taken the lives of more than 55 individuals through extrajudicial killings, not to mention the enforced disappearance of eight people and the forcible evacuation of 4,224 residents from their communities.

"No wonder he was promoted army chief.  There is no other top official who can and will faithfully implement the terror of Oplan Bayanihan other than the author himself.  We fear that with Maj. Gen. Bautista at the helm of Oplan Bayanihan, the number of cases of state violence will pile up, similar to that of Gloria Arroyo's Oplan Bantay Laya," Guevarra said.

Oplan Bayanihan, according to Hustisya is a "cut-and-paste" Filipino version of the US counter insurgency guide released in 2009. Designed to deceive the people, Oplan Bayanihan hides behind so-called “development” programs that actually seek to pacify people’s opposition to military presence or government projects such as large-scale mining, logging and plantations. In the process, it destroys community organizations that are existing in the area for a long time, as well as people’s initiatives to improve their quality of life.

“The way to all out peace is when justice is achieved. Many families of victims of human rights violations are disdained that to this day, P-Noy has not done anything for their loved ones and is instead paving the way towards more human rights violations. He has taken on this ‘legacy’ from his predecessor with Oplan Bayanihan and we have no choice but to fight back.” Guevarra said.

“The killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio is an omen of worse things to come. The promotion of General Bautista sealed the future we will have to face.” She concluded. ###