As Cordillera people commemorate Human Rights Day on Dec.10, we, the regional formation of ANAKBAYAN in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) will remain vigilant as the situation of human rights continues to get worse as Benigno Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan intensifies. As such, there is no greater hindrance in achieving justice than the president himself, whose family has a bloody reputation as coldblooded killers and human rights violators of activists and critics.
In his 4th year in office, the Cordillera people never saw any effort from Aquino in addressing the intensifying human rights violations (HRVs) in the region. Worse, with the support and tolerance from his administration, the mercenary Armed Forces of the Philippines remain to be the top human rights abuser in CAR.
It can be remembered that last September, two civilians were brutally killed by elements of 41st Infantry Battalion under the 5th Infantry Division of the AFP during their military operations against the New Peoples Army in Abra. This is after they were used by military as guides and human shields against their will. More than that, Cordillera Human Rights Alliance also documented that the victims bore strong indications of probable torture and desecration of remains as reflected on the victims’ autopsy reports.
Such cruel and inhumane action is a clear violation of the International Humanitarian Law. The use of civilians as human shield alone is considered an illegal act. More than that, torturing and killing a non-combatant civilian is needless to say unnecessary and unlawful.
In addition to this, history reveals that state-perpetrated crimes are not new in the region. Also in Abra, 3 members of Ligiw family was mauled and massacred last year. Moreover another human rights activist was shot that led to his death in the same year. All of these are committed by the AFP under the Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan.
While formal complaints were filed against the AFP for their crimes, these were just neglected by the government. Taking lessons from these experiences, we cannot trust the government to act on the issue of HRVs as they themselves are responsible for it.
In fact, we see Aquino not as human rights defender but a human rights violator defender. This is evident in his acts of defending the Cojuanco clan, who are responsible for Mendiola and Hacienda Luisita Massare. In the end, this only justifies the need to oust Aquino from office. As long as Aquino remains president, we will never expect that justice for the victims HRVs will be served.
Justice for all Victims of State-Perpetrated Human Rights Violations!
Make AFP Accountable for their Crime Against the People of Cordillera!
CORDILLERA PEOPLE UNITE TO OUST AQUINO!
KING CRIS PULMANO
Mobile #- 09061800157
Anakbayan Regional Office- #30 Upper P. Burgos, Baguio City