‘What the Supreme Court giveth, Gloria taketh away’ - Karapatan

Philippine human rights group Karapatan criticized President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for what it termed “a move to shield the military from its accountability to the people,” by issuing Administrative Order 197.

Karapatan likewise said that the writ of amparo and the writ of habeas data that the Supreme Court recently approved will be contradicted by AO 197 that prevents the “disclosure of military secrets.”

“What the Supreme Court giveth, Gloria Arroyo taketh away,” said Karapatan Public Information Officer Ruth Cervantes.

Cervantes said, “Arroyo’s AO 197 will protect perpetrators of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances by hampering the public’s access to vital information that could produce the missing persons or convict the killers.”

“Is the president and commander-in-chief trying to make the rules of the AFP Armed Forces of the Philippines superior to the order and rules of a civilian court?” Cervantes asked.

Karapatan said the Supreme Court should not take this sitting down and urged the high court to review AO 197 because it contradicts the constitutional provision on the public’s right to know and on the accountability of public officials.

Karapatan also voiced out its opposition to the “acceleration of recruitment, training, equipping and deploying of CAFGU,” which is item number three in AO 197. 

Cervantes said “Civilian communities are already terrorized with the heavy presence of troops and this is a violation of international humanitarian laws.  The government should pull out troops and not deploy more paramilitary forces, which in our country’s experience have caused human rights violations in communities.”

Philippine human rights group Karapatan criticized President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for what it termed “a move to shield the military from its accountability to the people,” by issuing Administrative Order 197.

Karapatan likewise said that the writ of amparo and the writ of habeas data that the Supreme Court recently approved will be contradicted by AO 197 that prevents the “disclosure of military secrets.”

“What the Supreme Court giveth, Gloria Arroyo taketh away,” said Karapatan Public Information Officer Ruth Cervantes.

Cervantes said, “Arroyo’s AO 197 will protect perpetrators of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances by hampering the public’s access to vital information that could produce the missing persons or convict the killers.”

“Is the president and commander-in-chief trying to make the rules of the AFP Armed Forces of the Philippines superior to the order and rules of a civilian court?” Cervantes asked.

Karapatan said the Supreme Court should not take this sitting down and urged the high court to review AO 197 because it contradicts the constitutional provision on the public’s right to know and on the accountability of public officials.

Karapatan also voiced out its opposition to the “acceleration of recruitment, training, equipping and deploying of CAFGU,” which is item number three in AO 197. 

Cervantes said “Civilian communities are already terrorized with the heavy presence of troops and this is a violation of international humanitarian laws.  The government should pull out troops and not deploy more paramilitary forces, which in our country’s experience have caused human rights violations in communities.”

 

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