Aquino's spotty rights record hit-A A +A
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
MANILA -- Militant group Karapatan scoffed at President Benigno Aquino III's defense of soldiers and policemen, which they scored for committing human rights violations especially in rural areas set to be developed by mining companies.
Based on the group's latest count, there have been 114 victims of extrajudicial killing (EJK), 127 victims of frustrated EJK, 70 persons tortured, 12 disappeared, and "scores" of other rights violations under the present administration.
These violations, Karapatan said, is on top of the security forces' miserable failure in arresting former military general Jovito Palparan, who was yet to surface to face the allegation that he ordered the abduction of two missing students of University of the Philippines.
Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay said the President deliberately did not mention in his interview with the New Zealand media the recent massacre of the Juvy Capion, a pregnant B'laan woman who was killed along with her two children when the military strafed their hut on October 18.
Juvy was a member of Kalgad, an organization of the B'laan tribe that is opposed to the entry of Xstrata-Sagittarius Mines, Inc (SMI) as there are about 30,000 B'laan who will be displaced from their ancestral lands with the entry and operation of Xstrata-SMI.
SMI is said to be the biggest mining investor in the Philippines with $5.9 billion investment largely in Tampakan, South Cotabato. The SMI is owned by the Australia-based Xstrata Copper, believed to be the fourth largest global copper producer. Aquino is due to visit Australia
Wednesday, after his New Zealand trip.
"To brag about one's dismal human rights record before the international community smacks of utter insensitivity to the victims and their kin’s plight," said Palabay. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)