July 16, 2011
Reference: Cristina Guevarra, secretary general, 0949-1772928
July 16 is victims’ day of action for justice
Victims and kin to PNoy: What have you done for justice?
“After one year in office, what has Pres. Aquino done to give justice?”
This was the question of victims of human rights violations and their
families as they held a Day of Action for Justice through a testimony at
Plaza Miranda today.
“The Ampatuan massacre victims, the mothers of the missing UP students,
Jonas Burgos’ kin…all of them are seeking justice. Yet, it is the families
themselves who push through with the legal cases. It is the families
themselves who look for all venues to demand justice,” Hustisya secretary
general Cristina Guevarra declared.
In a mass action at Plaza Miranda, victims and their families shared
testimonies on their enduring search for justice.
The group explained that during the past year, the Aquino government has
not lifted a finger in prosecuting human rights violators, which according
to them, was one of Aquino’s commitments when he assumed office.
“The President said last week that he will do everything for justice.
Aside from those usual affirmative statements, where is the action? It is
way too overdue for the victims of the past regime. We demand justice
A very good example, according to Hustisya, is that of the prosecution of
Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan. Palparan was forced to face the courts
after the mothers of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan filed a criminal
case against him on May 4.
While thousands more of families and victims nationwide are seeking
justice, the group they shall further demand that PNoy himself must
account for the human rights violations in first year.
"We demand justice because the killings and abductions continue,” Guevarra
said, “Pnoy and the AFP continue to render lip service that they are for
human rights and justice, but they cannot hide the fact that their current
counter-insurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan, opens for continuing
Hustisya also contradicted statements made by Aquino in his first SONA
that the first number of killings under his term were already resolved.
Guevarra cited the killing of Fernando Baldomero, fhe first case of
extrajudicial killing under PNoy. The case was recently archived in local
courts of Aklan because the Janurary 2010 arrest warrant for the suspect
has not been served. “Therefore, there is still no resolution. PNoy can
not dare say in his next SONA there is already justice, nor the military
has the nerve to say there are no human rights violations,” she said.
According to the Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement for People’s
Rights, there are already 48 victims of extrajudicial killings and five
documented cases of enforced disappearance in PNoy’s one year. Also, there
are more victims of torture, illegal arrest and detention.
In front of the famous Quiapo Church, the group Hustisya shouted, "KATARUNGAN!"
meaning justice, while raising the photos of the victims of human rights
violations. "We demand that PNoy heeds this call on his State of the
Nation Address on July 25," Guevarra ends. ###
July 15, 2011
WHAT: DAY OF ACTION FOR JUSTICE
WHEN: July 16, 2011, 10AM-12NN
WHERE: Plaza Miranda, Manila
“It is the families and the victims themselves who work to achieve
justice. After one year, what has Pres. Aquino done to render justice?”
This is the question of families and victims of human rights violations as
they declare a DAY OF ACTION FOR JUSTICE through a CULTURAL MOBILIZATION
in Plaza Miranda on Saturday, July 16.
Some of the relatives of the new victims under PNoy shall share their
testimonies. Some of them are the family of slain urban poor leader
Antonio Homo from Navotas City, freed political prisoner Angie Ipong.
Also joining them is torture victim Raymond Manalo, who is recently
standing in court as primary witness to the criminal case against Ret.
Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan on the abduction of two UP students and a farmer
They shall further demand that PNoy himself must be made accountable for
his own human rights record in his 1st year, while continuing to call for
justice for the victims of the past Arroyo regime. ###
MEDIA COVERAGE IS REQUESTED.
Photo opportunities available.
REFERENCE: Cristina Guevarra, Hustisya Secretary General 0949-1772928
15 July 2011
KARAPATAN STATEMENT ON THE SC DECISION
ON JONAS BURGOS’ ABDUCTION AND DISAPPEARANCE
Reference: Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Chairperson, KARAPATAN
Mobile : +639175616800
KARAPATAN welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision ordering the Armed Forces
of the Philippines (AFP), specifically Lt. Harry Baliaga and the incumbent
Chief of Staff, to surface activist Jonas Burgos who has been missing
The decision affirms what KARAPATAN has long found out: that state
security forces are responsible for the disappearance of Jonas Burgos,
along with the many other cases of enforced disappearances that happened
under the GMA regime and are still happening until the present.
By this time, the AFP should stop denying responsibility over the
disappearance of Jonas Burgos in the same way it denied having Sherlyn
Cadapan and Karen Empeño in their custody when the Supreme Court ordered
the same last May.
We reiterate that Jonas, Sherlyn, Karen and thousands like them became
victims of human rights violations because of the counter-insurgency
program implemented by the Arroyo administration – the Oplan Bantay Laya I
and II - that targeted activists and other human rights defenders. We urge
the Aquino government to learn the lesson of the past regime and
immediately rethink implementing the same policies of the past government
and his own brand of the counter insurgency program – Oplan Bayanihan -
which engender unreported displacement of communities in areas pinpointed
by the military as allegedly under the strong influence of rebels.
We call on President Noynoy Aquino to use his power as Commander-in-chief
of the AFP to order the military to abide by the Supreme Court’s order to
surface Jonas Burgos and ensure that those responsible for his abduction
and disappearance will be punished. Only then can decisions of the Courts
have teeth and effect the lessening of, if not totally ending, impunity.
We strongly urge President Noynoy Aquino to go after Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
who was dropped by the courts as a respondent to the case. One year is
more than enough time for President Noynoy to act on serving justice to
all the victims of human rights violations of the past regime. It is hard
to believe that GMA is ignorant of these heinous cases of human rights
violations that happened when she was the commander-in-chief of the
Philippine Armed Forces.###
PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
Alliance for the Advancement of People's Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs, human
rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and individual
advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s rights and
civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human rights
violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education, training