New AFP chief hit over human rights violations-A A +A
Thursday, January 17, 2013
MANILA -- Newly-installed Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Lieutenant General Emmanuel Bautista tainted his name for being the brains of the counter-insurgency program of the government, a human rights group said Thursday.
Bautista took over the reins of the AFP from retiring General Jessie Dellosa. He will be calling the shots for the military for over a year or until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 56 on July 20, 2014.
Hustisya said they were not wrong when they forecast more rights violations after Bautista was appointed Army chief in 2011. Rights group Karapatan supposedly documented 137 victims of extrajudicial killings by the end of last year.
"Can our families still hope for justice when the new AFP chief will only direct his men to implement the same old counter-insurgency program, only with a different name?" asked Hustisya secretary general Cristina Guevarra
Launched in December 2010, Oplan Bayanihan seeks to resolve conflicts through peace process as well as community work and so-called civil military operations.
Guevarra said Bautista's appointment reminds them of "how the past administration rewarded its loyal minions in the military for their bloody campaign against so-called enemies of the state."
"We witnessed their increased military presence in communities, and questioned their defense for government projects such as large-scale mining, logging and plantations. We can only find peace if Oplan Bayanihan is put to a stop," she said. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)