AFP commits itself to protecting human rights; progressives skeptical

The Armed Forces of the Philippines celebrated National Human Rights Consciousness Week, which is commemorated from December 4 to 10, as some 200 soldiers representing the AFP pledged themselves against torture and other human rights violations. To stress their commitment, they recited Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: ‘No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’. They were joined by other government agencies including the Department of Justice and the Commission on Human Rights who also recited different articles of the UDHR during the parade and exhibition held at the CHR Quadrangle in Quezon City Tuesday. Brig. Gen. Domingo J. Tutaan Jr., AFP Human Rights Office (AFPHRO) chief, said the continuous and active participation of our soldiers in such activities signifies their vigor and strong drive towards the promotion and protection of human rights. “The AFP had been doing similar efforts itself to manifest our dedication on Human Rights advocacy for we believe that it is one of the key in achieving a just and lasting peace for our country,” said Tutaan. “The Armed Forces of the Philippines assures the people that we will continue to defend and protect human dignity in all aspects of our operations,” AFP chief of staff General Jessie Dellosa said in a press statement Tuesday. “We hope that through active participation with other stakeholders and civil society organizations, our efforts to advocate human rights will continue to bear fruit.” In line with the week-long celebration, the AFP, through the AFPHRO, will be conducting activities to heighten the soldiers’ commitment and responsibilities as Human Rights Advocates. On December 6, senior officers holding key positions in the AFP will join the CHR led by Chairperson Loretta Ann Rosales in a round table discussion at the La Breza Hotel, Quezon City. This will be followed by a Top-Level Dialogue between the two parties. On December 9, the AFP will take part in the HR Music Fest at the QC Memorial Circle with the GHQ Band and GHQ Choral will be performing together with other Filipino artists. The AFPHRO will also attend the 2nd International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Summit on December 11. PR spin But Cristina Palabay, spokesperson and secretary general of Karapatan, called the AFP's claims that it is committed to put an end to torture and other rights violations pure hogwash. She said based on their documentation, the AFP under President Benigno Aquino III has tortured 72 victims including the alleged torture of security guard Rolly Panesa, the gross torture and brutal killing of Mindanao indigenous leader Genesis Ambason and barangay officer Ely Oguis in Albay. “[The] AFP statement is pure and simple PR spin,” she said in a text message to GMA News Online. She added they documented 129 victims of extrajudicial killings and 150 cases of frustrated extra judicial killings; more than 30,000 victims, mostly peasants and indigenous peoples, of forced evacuation due to bombings and military operations in Mindanao and Southern Luzon from July 2010 to October 30, 2012. Karapatan also recorded 1,206 victims of extra judicial killings during the incumbency of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from January 2001 to June 30, 2010. In a separate press statement, Palabay said 2012, the second year of the Aquino administration, saw the intensification of military operations and heavy deployment of troops in areas believed to be strongholds of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA). “This has resulted in the forced evacuation and displacement of thousands of indigenous peoples and farmers from their lands, and scores of cases of human rights violations, including extra judicial killings, illegal arrests, torture and arbitrary detention and military occupation of schools, chapels, barangay halls and clinics in various communities,” she said. — DVM, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea
    US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery Thursday after having his face and arm slashed by a knife-wielding activist in an attack applauded by North Korean state media. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which saw the ambassador rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after two-and-a-half hours of surgery that included 80 stitches to a deep gash on his right cheek. In a brief despatch, North Korea's official KCNA news …

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options