Human rights group passes its plans to Aquino
BAGUIO CITY—Human rights groups have called on President Benigno Aquino to adopt their draft proposal on the promotion of human rights as one of his key programs in the three years remaining of his administration.
Wilnor Papa, program coordinator for campaigns of Amnesty International-Philippines, said they had updated a set of action plans which Mr. Aquino could take as his administration’s human rights policy before he delivers his State of the Nation Address (Sona) next month.
Officials of AI Philippines were here last week for the provincial leg of the launch of “Amnesty International Report 2012: The State of the World’s Human Rights.”
The action plans incorporated in the AI draft include controversial measures like the reproductive health bill and the Freedom of Information Act and proposed laws that address enforced disappearances.
“President Aquino is on his second year and the Sona is approaching yet we are still waiting for his human rights program. The National Human Rights Action Plan is not yet in place and cases of human rights abuses are increasing,” Papa said.
He said many rights laws had been passed but were usually ignored, citing the antitorture law of 2009 which has not stopped violence against prisoners.
“There are still cases of torture. It’s impossible [to say otherwise]. We hear how thieves and snatchers are being beaten in detention centers. There is still no due process,” he said.
Col. Herminigildo Aquino, who teaches at the Philippine Military Academy, said the academy had incorporated human rights in the curriculum. He said even PMA professors pursued grant programs and attended seminars on human rights.
He explained the AFP’s Internal Peace and Security Program-Bayanihan (IPSP Bayanihan) was designed to build peace and not just fight insurgency. Desiree Caluza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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