Palace blames courts’ slow pace on rights cases
Malacañang on Wednesday stood by the Aquino administration’s human rights record, saying the government has been going after human rights violators.
Told by reporters that the advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) had slammed President Benigno Aquino for allegedly not doing enough against human rights abuses, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda blamed the judiciary for the government’s failure to prosecute rights violators.
“Since you’ve mentioned that cases have been filed in court, obviously the ball is now with the judicial branch of government, with the courts themselves,” Lacierda said in Wednesday’s news briefing in Malacañang.
“And, knowing the separation of powers, I cannot understand why Human Rights Watch would be blaming the Aquino administration or the executive branch for the seemingly slow pace of judicial action. That is something that is within the purview of the judiciary.”
“Insofar as going after the perpetrators, we continue to go after them,” Lacierda said, pointing to a decline in index crime in Philippine National Police statistics.
“The index crime has decreased for the first quarter. And (if you) compare the numbers of 2011 to 2012, (they) have also gone down,” Lacierda said. “So I do not necessarily agree with the position of Human Rights Watch.”
Retired General Jovito Palparan remained at large despite a warrant for his arrest. Palparan is an accused in the disappearance of two UP students—Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño—during the Arroyo administration. Norman Bordadora
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