Ozamiz gang incident shows “salvaging” still a practice among cops, soldiers

The killing of two suspected members of the Ozamiz gang by their police escorts shows Philippine state security forces have not changed their martial law ways, the spokesperson of the International Conference for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (ICHRPP) said today.
"The incident has tell tale signs of a rubout,” said Rep. Teddy Casiño, spokesperson for the three-day ICHRPP which is set to open tomorrow, July 19.  

Intl solidarity mission investigate rights violations in the Phils; to join People's SONA

“The world is watching. This is a test for the Philippine republic on how to deal with the poor and marginalized and their needs. We are here to show our solidarity and to let you know that you are not alone,” was Rev. Stuart Lyster’s message to the representatives of the remaining 5,500 urban poor residents at the North Triangle who are in constant struggle against government-led enforced eviction and demolition of their shanties. 
Rev. Lyster was among the 12 delegates from the US, Canada and Hongkong who joined the International Solidarity Mission (ISM) of peace advocates and human rights defenders  in the National Capital Region (NCR). Other ISM participants from 14 countries are now in a four-day mission in provinces and communities where there are documented human rights violations. Redemptorist priests from the Philippines were also in the NCR mission.    

Family of Dutch EJK victim assails Aquino govt rights record; impunity proof of failure of HR

The family of Dutch missionary Willem Geertman who was a victim of extrajudicial killing last year in Angeles City, made strong exception to the statement of European Union (EU) ambassador Guy Ledoux last week lauding the Aquino government's human rights record.
Herman Geertman, brother of Willem and spokesperson of the Geertman family, said the EU ambassador's praise of the human rights record of the Aquino government is like rubbing salt to the wound and pain they are suffering with the unresolved killing of his brother.

Aquino dashes hope for respect for human rights – Dutch Parliamentarian

A member of the Dutch Parliament representing the Socialist Party of the Netherlands has called for solidarity with Filipinos in their struggle to end human rights violations and impunity.
Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party of the Netherlands, the third biggest political party in the Dutch parliament in a strongly-worded statement, said that the extrajudicial killings, disappearances, torture cases, illegal arrests and victims of forced evacuations from rural villages that are reported by Karapatan, “show clearly that real change has yet to come.”

Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan a waste of people’s money

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should immediately stop the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan. The Aquino government is wasting the nation’s coffers in pursuing Oplan Bayanihan that has resulted in numerous human rights violations and continuing impunity.”
Thus said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, in reaction to the statement of AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista on the failure of the counter-insurgency program’s targets. The Aquino administration announced in May 2013 that it has allocated $1.8 billion, or roughly P73 billion, for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program.

ICCHRP condemns violent dispersal of stranded-undocumented OFWs in Saudi Arabia

The International Coordinating Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICCHRP) assailed the Aquino government for remaining silent on the Saudi government's crackdown on undocumented OFWs. The ICCHRP is a global network of non-government organizations, community and advocate groups and individuals outside the Philippines who are all concerned with the human rights situation in the Philippines and support campaigns to end rights violations in the Philippines.
The ICCHRP also condemned the violent dispersal of about 100 stranded undocumented Filipino workers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last July 2 that led to the arrest and torture of at least three leaders of the protesting OFWs who were picked up by the Saudi police, during the violent dispersal.

Dismantle paramilitary groups, revoke EO546

"The inordinate delay in the delivery of justice for the victims of the Ampatuan massacre and the recent accounts of the backhoe driver exemplify how impunity runs through from one administration to the next; in this case from the Arroyo to the Aquino regime. Despite the people’s outrage and after more than three years after the massacre, one of the key government policies, Executive Order 546, has yet to be revoked by Pres. Noynoy Aquino,” Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said.

Assignment of Morong 43 torturer Baladad to 3rd IDPA, a display of impunity

"The appointment of Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad as commanding general of 3rd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army is an exemplary display of impunity under the Aquino government," Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said. Gen. Baladad is among the military and police officers currently facing civil and criminal charges of torture and illegal detention of 43 health workers known as the Morong 43.

European fact-finding mission to visit Luzon provinces torn by land conflicts and corporate plunder

Several European human rights advocates, including family members of murdered Dutch missionary Willem Geertman, will join an International Solidarity Mission (ISM) to Central Luzon Philippines, from July 14-17, 2013. The mission will visit and gather information in the following: 1) Aurora province, site of a multi-billion dollar economic project that would be displacing hundreds of poor peasant farmers, and where Geertman spent most of his years in the Philippines; 2) Angeles City, where Geertman was murdered, and, 3) Hacienda Luisita, the controversial sugar plantation evading land reform and owned by the family of Philippine president Noynoy Aquino. 

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.
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