Respect for human rights should not just be in words

Human rights group Karapatan chided the military’s so-called renewal of “commitment to uphold human rights” amidst the continuing rights violations, injustice and impunity under the P-Noy administration. 

Jigs Clamor, deputy secretary general of Karapatan said that “commitment to human rights means the pullout of the military from the communities, the end to extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, illegal arrests, detention and torture, and the end to the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan.” He further asserted that, “until these are done, such commitment is empty and would remain to be just a part of the military’s psywar tactics.”

Karapatan also scoffed at the declaration of Lt. Gen. Jessie Dellosa, chief of Northern Luzon Command that his office has not received “reports of human rights abuses in the last four months.” Karapatan documented seven cases of extrajudicial killings from August to October, including the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio and Ramon Batoy in October and the seven year-old child Sunshine Jabinez in Compostela Valley last September. Karapatan documented a total of 64 victims of extrajudicial killings under the P-Noy administration. 

“If the military has not received reports of rights abuses, that does not mean there are no violations. It only means the people don’t trust the military,” said Clamor. According to Karapatan, victims of rights violations or their families do not report to the military because the prime violator is the military itself.  Clamor added that, “the mere presence of the military in the communities already endangers the people.”

From August to October, almost 4,000 individuals from Surigao del Sur, Davao City, North Cotabato and Agusan del Norte were forced to leave their homes and their sources of livelihood because of intense military operations in their communities. 

“The military could have their daily dose of “panata sa karapatang pantao” but for as long as the P-Noy administration continues to implement its counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, there would be no let up in human rights violations.”### 


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