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On the Aquino govt’s superbody

No need for frills and fuss, victims need resolution and end to EJK

December 7, 2012

QUEZON CITY  –  Karapatan today held a picket in front of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to underscore the point that Pres. Aquino’s ‘superbody’ is “extraneous and thus, inessential in solving the cases of extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations.”

“The victims and their families need no more frills and fuss. If only the government listens to the voice of the people, they would say: Just get down to work; solve and stop extrajudicial killing,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.

The members of the Manilakbayan mission, a 74-member delegation from Mindanao, joined the picket to highlight the cases of extrajudicial killings of indigenous peoples and peasants under the Aquino regime who are mostly killed because of their opposition to large-scale mining operations and destructive government projects in their lands.

With the Manilakbayan delegation are the widows of slain IP leaders who pressed the DOJ to “go after the identified perpetrators of extrajudicial killings is what the victims need such as the members of the 27th IB responsible for the massacre of Juvy Capion and two children who are both minors; the arrest of Alde Salusad of the New Indigenous People’s Army Reform (NIPAR) who remains free despite a warrant of arrest for the killing of Jimmy Liguyon, a tribal leader in Bukidnon.”

Palabay added that what makes things worse is the Aquino government’s move to promote AFP officers who have pending court cases for rights violations, such as Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año was implicated in the abduction and enforced disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos and is held responsible for a string of human rights violation in Southern Luzon region; and Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad has a pending criminal case for the illegal arrest and torture of the 43 health workers or “Morong 43.”

“With these AFP officers and PNP sitting in the Aquino ‘superbody’, the government expects us to hail and praise this ‘superbody’? Palabay asked.

Manilakbayan delegates are one in saying that the people in Mindanao “do not only need relief goods because of typhoon Pablo, but also relief, or more exactly, an end to military presence in our communities; that we do not only need rehabilitation after the floods, but also rehabilitation of our communities from destruction of bombs during military operations and mining explorations that has long plagued us.”

Karapatan earlier chided the Aquino government for its ‘superbody’ saying that it is only part of the GPH’s effort to secure the more than $13 million in US military assistance to the GPH that it does anything to deodorize its human rights record.”

Since 2008, the said military aid remains unreleased due to international pressure from various Philippine solidarity groups that campaigned on the issue of extrajudicial killings and other rights violations.