Constabulary revival to result in more rights abuses—Karapatan
Human rights group Karapatan on Thursday denounced proposals for the revival of the Philippine Constabulary (PC), saying it will only result in more human rights violations.
Malacañang earlier revealed that President Rodrigo Duterte has been “floating” the idea of reviving the PC, which was integrated with the military and was eventually abolished during the term of former President Corazon Aquino.
Duterte supposedly wanted to supplement the Philippine National Police (PNP) by reactivating the PC.
Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said the other option of including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the administration’s war on drugs won’t benefit the communities.
“The thousands of suspected drug users and pushers and innocent citizens, even minors, killed in the course of the implementation of the campaign against illegal drugs are enough proof,” she said.
Palabay said the AFP, like the PNP, also has records of corruption and abuse.
“Those currently at the helm of the military institution are living proof,” she said. “General Esperon, as AFP Chief of Staff and Philippine Army Commanding General during the Macapagal Arroyo administration, and current AFP Chief Eduardo Año, who aided and supported Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan Jr. during the same period, are responsible for 1,206 activists and civilians who were killed and the 206 disappeared persons.”
Palabay blamed the PC for the “warrantless arrests of known revolutionaries branded as bandits like Macario Sakay and Julian Montalan.”
“The Constabulary also led in the suppression of peasant uprisings and civil disobedience demonstrations of workers and peasants, during that period,” she pointed out.
Palabay said the police cannot be reformed through “superficial cleansing.”
She said what should be changed are state policies and declarations, such as the war against drugs and the counter-insurgency campaign, that target the poor. JE/rga
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