HR record of P-Noy no better than predecessors—AI
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The human rights record of the Aquino administration has fallen short of expectations, according to the head of the local chapter of an international human rights group.
Ritz Lee Santos III, chair of Amnesty International Philippines (AIP), said that while, on paper, the government appeared to be promoting respect for human rights, cases of extrajudicial killings, abductions blamed on state forces and other human rights violations are still too many.
The country is a long way from being human rights violations-free, said Santos in a press conference on March 28 during the Mindanao leg of the group’s launching of its report on human rights under President Aquino.
Santos said while it is notable that laws to protect human rights, like the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012, were enacted under Mr. Aquino, cases of torture, abductions and extrajudicial killings languish in courts and more violations are being committed.
Santos said his group is disappointed at government failure to stop the continuing violation of human rights, citing as example of a weak commitment to human rights protection the failed promise of Mr. Aquino to enact a freedom of information law.
AIP has given a “barely passing” grade to Mr. Aquino’s human rights record during his first 100 days in office.
In a report distributed to media here, AIP, citing different sources, said the number of extrajudicial killings in the country is staggering as cases remain unsolved.
Perpetrators are not brought to justice and families of victims are left in the dark about the fate of their loved ones, the report said.
It said from July 2010 to September 2015, at least 438 cases of extrajudicial killings have been reported. At least 31 cases of abductions allegedly by state forces were recorded in the same period, the AIP report said.
It said in many of the cases, the suspects had been identified as security personnel of large corporations and members of government security forces but none has been penalized.
Among the victims are members of indigenous people’s communities and rural folk, it said.
Quoting a report by the local human rights group Karapatan, AIP said since 2010, 53 cases of killings of tribal leaders have been recorded. None has been solved.
Enforced disappearances, or cases of abductions allegedly by state forces, are still common under Mr. Aquino despite the enactment of the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act, the report said. Jigger Jerusalem, Inquirer Mindanao
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