Karapatan says extrajudicial killings ‘no better than martial law’ | Inquirer News

Karapatan says extrajudicial killings ‘no better than martial law’

By: - Reporter / @NCorralesINQ
/ 12:19 PM February 18, 2016

“No better than martial law.”

Such was how a human rights group described the extrajudicial killings in the Philippines three decades after the imposition of martial law in the country.

Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan, said extrajudicial killings in the country persist under the Aquino administration, which have targeted indigenous people particularly in Mindanao.


She said that with more than 300 cases of extrajudicial killings in the country, 80 of these involved indigenous people or tribal groups.

READ: Extrajudicial killings: Culture of impunity remains

Among the 80 indigenous victims of extrajudicial killings, she said 67 were from tribal groups in Mindanao.

“These are not incidental killings. [These are] targeted killings,” Palabay told reporters in a pandesal forum on Wednesday at the Kamuning Bakery in Quezon City.

Lumad -1104

Photographs of victims of forced disappearances are displayed at the Liwasang Bonifacio by their families as they have no tombs to light candles and offer flower, as a show of solidarity with the Lumad who have been victims of the AFP counter-insurgency operations in recent months.

Palabay cited how the lumads, an indigenous group in Mindanao, were being harassed, killed and displaced by paramilitary groups and government soldiers.

Last September 2015, dozens of armed men belonging to the Magahat-Bagani group arrived in Sitio (sub-village) Han-ayan in Diatagon village, Lianga and brutally killed lumad leaders Dionel Campos and Datu Bello Sinzo and Emerito Samarca, executive director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural Livelihood and Development, a school for lumad youths.


READ: Leader of paramilitary group in Lianga lumad killings surrenders

Palabay said thousands of lumads have also been displaced in their tribal communities as they fight for their ancestral lands.

Meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino III has said that there was no campaign to kill anybody in the country.

“There is no campaign to kill anybody in this country. There is a campaign to go after the culprits of these crimes regardless of who they are,” Aquino said.

READ: Who is exploiting the ‘lumad’?

However, Palabay lamented how the perpetrators remain unpunished.

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She said human rights is an important election issue and should be addressed by politicians especially in the upcoming national elections in May.

“Every issue has a human rights dimension,” she said. RAM

TAGS: Lumads, Philippines

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