“Not in the name of human rights, not one day more!” – Karapatan


On the AFP Extension of Oplan Bantay Laya II

“Not in the name of human rights, not one day more!” – Karapatan

The human rights alliance Karapatan assailed the extension of Oplan Bantay Laya II announced by Armed Forces Chief Lt. Gen. Ricardo David last Sunday.

Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao Enriquez scored the AFP for claiming that they would “emphasize the respect and upholding of human rights,” for it is one of the thrusts of President Benigno Aquino III. “This is the height of deception and distortion by the AFP and the President to lull the people into accepting this abominable counter-insurgency strategy which was already found by both local and international bodies to be one of the reasons for the series of killings and enforced disappearances committed against activists and critics of the US-Arroyo regime.  It is now becoming clear that this Aquino II regime is nothing but a continuation of its predecessor in terms of human rights,’’ Enriquez declares.

The Aquino II administration must stop deceiving the people. “Not in the name of human rights,” Enriquez said.  “The bloody record of Oplan Bantay Laya has shown the AFP’s total disregard for human rights.  Its mercenary tradition has shown not even a modicum of respect but rather total contempt of human rights,” she added.

“This is proven in the series of cruel military operations now being undertaken in the hinterlands of Negros island province, Samar, the Bicol provinces, Davao and Compostela Valley and other parts of the land wreaking havoc on the lives of poor farmers’ communities and rendering them more vulnerable to human rights violations.  Extending Oplan Bantay Laya means extending massive militarization campaigns and displacement of entire communities at the mercy of the military, paramilitary and armies of poltical warlords and big business interests,” Enriquez stated.

“If President Aquino really wants peace based on justice, he should address the fundamental causes of the armed conflicts rooted in the system dominated by the US and local ruling elite of big landlords and businessmen.  He can start with the land distribution of the Hacienda Luisita,” Enriquez further explained.

“The ultimate solution to the armed conflict is on socio-economic reforms and social justice,” KARAPATAN asserts as it holds its National Council meeting and assess the damage done by the Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program that victimized thousands of activists during the US-Arroyo regime. ###



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