The state of Moro human rights under Aquino III:
Continuing poverty, injustice and impunity

 

Western Mindanao State UIniversity

 

July  12,  2012

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Photos courtesy of KAWAGIB
           
     
     
     

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When President Aquino assumed into power, he promised a different Mindanao. His Mindanao 2020 boasts of a plan to push for agricultural development in Mindanao by transforming it into a modern agricultural center for self-sufficiency and be competitive.
 

Three SONA’s (State of the Nation Address) after, Mindanao remains poor. Based on the latest official poverty statistics released by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), 36% of the country’s poorest families live in Mindanao.
The country’s three poorest regions are in Mindanao – CARAGA (39.8%), ARMM (38.1%), and Zamboanga Peninsula (36.6%). People in the ARMM has highest cost of living (more than P1,287 ) among all regions in the Philippines, but they only get P232 minimum wage(18% of the cost of living).*
 

This year, Mindanaoans suffered long hours of brownouts, yet compared to other countries, we were paying the highest electricity rates in Asia. We were blamed for the power crisis yet the national government is not shelling out bigger budget for Mindanao. Instead, they implemented the dole-out Conditional Cash Transfer or Pantawid Pampamilya Program whose budget came from World Bank loans.
In Mindanao, the foreign and local businessmen and landlords are the ones cashing in on the resources of Mindanao. The government has given permits for mining, exploration of oil and natural gas reserves, operations of coal-fired power plants, and expansion of agricultural plantations – which have further pushed the people into poverty and landlessness due to displacement.
 

The military and their CAFGU’s and CVO’s are employed to guard these business establishments, militarizing not only the countryside but urban dwellings as well. The economic interests of the US government are ensured by deploying US troops, setting-up “temporary” bases and conducting successive military exercises in Mindanao. War mongering against China is but a front to his subservience to US politico-military interests in Asia.
 

Under the guise of counter-terrorism, the people of Mindanao are held hostage by business interests. Communities who defy military presence are tagged as terrorist havens, residents as supporters. Communities are bombed and residents displaced purportedly to wipe out terrorists in the area.
 

Since 2001, more than 200 have been arrested and detained – accused as Abu Sayyaf members. Instead of reviewing security policies that discriminates Moro people, or put a stop to militarization and bombardment in the communities, Aquino called for an “All-Out Justice” which only intensified human rights violations in Moro areas.
 

In Aquino’s time, the wheels of justice remain slow. Despite incarceration, the Ampatuan family continue to wield power in Maguindanao. Adding to the death toll Maguindanao Massacre victims are state witnesses against the Ampatuan family.
There is a continuing reign of impunity as perpetrators of human rights violations remain scot free, while civilians and human rights defenders rot in jail. Aquino is no different with Arroyo in implementing the US counter-insurgency guide. Under his watch, two foreign NGO workers were killed while several activists are being arrested, detained and killed.
 

We pin our hopes in the peace negotiations, yet the Aquino administration continue to disregard previous agreements and push new agenda that gloss over the root-cause of the problem and only prolong the talks.
 

Let us expose the true situation of our communities and oppose state policies that continue to violate and deny our rights.

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*Padilla, A. (2012, April 15). A Radical's Nut: Notes on Philippine Economy and Politics. Retrieved from arnoldpadilla.wordpress.com:

https://arnoldpadilla.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/mindanao-power-is-more-expensive-than-asias-major-cities/



 

 

     
     
           
     
     
     

 Lordie is the UP student who ws robbed and seriously injured at the UP Vinzons Hall Student Council office 5 months ago. She survived, but had to undergo an expensive series of operations and now months of rehab costing P22,000 per week.

Here is an appeal from the UPD Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Prof. Marion Tan of the Task Force Lordei re fund raising whole day event at the College of Home Economics.

Lordei n' Night
20 July 2012 FRIDAY
CHE Atrium and Tearoom

Bazaar and food sale starts at 8:00 am
Cake raffle starts at 6:00 pm
Performances start at 7:00 pm
(with Bibeth Orteza, John Lesaca, UP Streetdance Club, UP Music Circle, KARATULA, and more!)

     
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Balance Piston sa Mindanao, tinututulan ng grupong KAWAGIB

Lungsod ng Cotabato – Mariing tinututulan ng grupong KAWAGIB ang inilulunsad na pagsasanay militar ng mga sundalong Pilipino at sundalong Amerikano sa Camp Siongco, 6th Infantry Division, Maguindanao na tinatawag na Balance Piston ’11-03. Noong Setyembre 01 dumating ang sampung opisyal ng tropang kano sa pangunguna ni Capt. Brent Olson na maglulunsad ng pagsasanay sa loob ng labing limang araw.

Ayon kay Bai Ali Indayla, tagapagsalita ng grupo “mariin naming tinututulan ang patuloy na paglulunsad ng Balance Piston at Balikatan Exercises lalo na sa Mindanao dahil nagdulot ito ng mga paglabag sa karapatang-pantao na mismong mga tropang kano ang may kagagawan na hanggang sa ngayon ay hindi pa rin nabibigyan ng hustisya”.

Ani Indayla ”ilan lamang sa mga kasong ito ang pamamaril sa mga sibilyan na napagkamalang terorista tulad ni Buyung-buyong Isnijal sa Basilan na nabaril ni Sgt. Reggie Lane. Nitong Desyembre ng nakaraang taon sa ilalim ng rehimeng Aquino ay ni-raid ng mga pulis at tropang kano ang Brgy. Upper Sampunay, Parang, Sulu, hinuli at illegal na ikinulong ang 45 katao kasama ang 4 menor de edad at 8 kababaihan, binugbog sila at pilit kinunan ng litrato at pinag-thumbmark pa ng mga tropang kano. Matapos silang ikulong buong araw ay pinakawalan din ang mga sibilyan at saka nila napag-alaman na ang ginawa sa kanila ay bahagi ng Balikatan exercise ng mga pulis at tropang kano at sila ang pinagpraktisan ng mga ito”.

Dagdag pa ni Indayla, “hanggang sa ngayon ay hindi pa rin nabibigyang linaw ang misteryosong pagkamatay ni Gregan Cardeno noong Pebrero 2010, isang interpreter ng mga tropang kano sa Campo Ranao, Marawi City. Si Cardeno ay natagpuang patay sa loob ng baraks ng mga tropang kano at may mga pasa sa kanyang katawan. Maging ang kanyang pamilya ay naniniwala na siya ay posibleng biktima ng pang-aabuso at torture ng mga tropang kano at ang kanyang pamilya ay nananawagan rin ng hustisya”.

Hindi rin kumbinsido ang Kawagib na pawang pagsasanay lang ang ginagawa ng mga tropang kano sa Mindanao. Ayon pa kay Indayla, “gamit ang mga abanteng kagamitan ng US sa paniniktik o intelligence tulad ng mga spy planes at tracking devices ay nangangalap ang mga ito ng impormasyon at mahahalagang datos para sa kontra-insurhensyang kampanya nito at ng gobyerno”.

Nangangamba rin ang grupo sa posibleng maging implikasyon ng presensya ng mga tropang kano ngayon sa Maguindanao gayong nagbanta na rin ang tropa ng gobyerno na lulusubin nito ang grupo ni Ameril Ombra Kato anumang araw mula ngayon. Ayon sa Kawagib, titindi ang paglabag sa karapatang pantao kung hindi ito mapipigilan.

Maliban sa pagsasanay militar ay maglulunsad rin ng medical mission ang mga tropang kano sa Barangay Tamontaka ngunit ayon sa Kawagib, responsibilidad na umano ng gobyerno ang pagbibigay ng basic social services sa mamamayan at hindi nito dapat iniaasa sa US ang pagbibigay ng serbisyo.

Sa huli ay nanawagan ang grupo kay Pangulong Aquino na tuparin ang pangakong mamamayan ang kanyang boss at sa halip na sumipsip sa US ay unahin nito ang pagpapatupad ng makatotohanang pagbabago at bigyang hustisya ang mga biktima dahil ayon kay Indayla, ang dating islogan ni Pnoy na “kayo ang boss ko” ay tila raw nagbago at sa halip ay naging “Kano ang boss ko”.###
 

 

     
     
           
     
     
     
           
           
           

 


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