[caption id="attachment_59635" align="aligncenter" width="960"] AQUINO AT WRECKING BALL. One of the effigies of President Benigno Aquino III at the rally of several groups commemorating the International Human Rights Day. "All you ever did was... wre-eeck me..." Bayan Sec. Gen. Renato Reyes said. (Photo courtesy of Renato Reyes)[/caption]
Militant groups on Tuesday condemned the continuing human rights violations committed under the Aquino administration, urging the government to take sensible steps to hold the perpetrators accountable.
Karapatan, one of the groups that staged a rally to commemorate the International Human Rights Day on December 10, said at least one extrajudicial killing was committed by “state security forces” every week, or at least four killings every month, stressing the government failure to end the unjust killings in the country.
“This December alone, we documented at least four cases of extrajudicial killing committed by State forces. In the past two weeks, media organizations have reported two journalists killed,” Karapatan Secretary general Cristina Palabay said.
The latest two journalists killed under Aquino administration were Bukidnon radio commentator Joas Dignos and Prime Radio FM’s Michael Diaz Milo of Tandag City.
Under President Benigno Aquino III's first three years in office, Karapatan has recorded at least 152 extrajudicial killings and 168 frustrated killings, with 18 enforced disappearances, 358 illegal arrests and detentions “on trumped up charges, tortures and other gross human rights violations,” Palabay said.
At least 200 protesters from the Karapatan marched outside the ancestral house of President Aquino along Times Street in Quezon City on Tuesday morning. Other groups, including Bayan, have gathered and marched to Mendiola to protest the “government inaction” on the human rights violation cases.
Garry Martinez of Migrante International said there were already five Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who have been sentenced to death in a span of three years, calling Aquino as “Boy Sisi.”
Moreover, Tess Bacolod, local leader of Corazon de Jesus group, said Aquino is no different from previous presidents who “did not serve the people's interest.”
Aside from the human rights violations, Karapatan also condemned the “damage” the Aquino administration “has caused on the rights, lives and livelihood of the Filipino people.”
The government is under fire over the P4.15 per kilo watt latest power rate hike, the biggest rate increase ever by the M Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).
“We hold the Aquino regime accountable for protecting a rotten system that continues to oppress and exploit the Filipino people,” Palabay said.
The group also burned an effigy of Aquino which they called as ‘The Destroyer’ to symbolize the people’s eagerness to work harder “to change the system he [Aquino] represents, Palabay said.
One of the cases that Karapatan has been fighting is the enforced disappearances of University of the Philippines students Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Kadapan. They were abducted on June 26, 2006 in Hagonoy Bulacan allegedly under the command of retired major general and now fugitive Jovito Palparan.
Meanwhile, the government said it is continuing its hunt for Palparan who has been hiding since the arrest warrant was issued.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma said on Tuesday that Palparan remains as a “fugitive of justice.” He said the government is still committed to bring him into the state custody.