Women rights group to Aquino: Hard facts on the bleak human rights situation nowhere in your empty SONA

PRESS RELEASE

July 26, 2011

 

Reference:      Cristina Palabay, Tanggol Bayi Spokesperson (09175003879)

 

Women rights group to Aquino: Hard facts on the bleak human rights situation nowhere in your empty SONA

 Women’s rights group Tanggol Bayi today scored Pres. Noynoy Aquino, on his State of the Nation Address, on his silence on the human rights situation in the country stating that the “hard facts” on human rights paint the bleak situation in the country.

“Aquino has continued the Arroyo legacy of state terror and political repression. His SONA and the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan, which is no different from Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya, is a reaffirmation that he is not only inutile in ending impunity,his regime is likewise responsible for the continuing spate of EJKs, disappearances, arrests, detention, torture and other forms of rights violations,” said Cristina Palabay, convenor of Tanggol Bayi.

“There has been zero conviction for all perpetrators of human rights violations during the Arroyo administration, including Gen. Jovito Palparan and Arroyo herself. The Aquino government has not even initiated the filing of countercharges against the perpetrators. There are fifty victims of extrajudicial killings, five cases of disappearances, 45 political prisoners who were arrested and detained and scores of human rights violations under the Aquino administration. These are the hard facts, Mr. President,” she added.

Palabay said among the women human rights defenders whose cases remain unresolved under the Aquino administration are: a) the cases of the two UP students, Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan, who were abducted in 2006; b) Karapatan leaders Benjaline Hernandez, a campus journalist, and Eden Marcellana, who were both killed by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and whose cases received favorable recommendations from the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the accountability of state forces for their deaths; c) Atty. Connie Brizuela and the 26 other women victims in the Ampatuan massacre.

Recently, a former leader of Gabriela in La Union, Gloria Floresca, was illegally arrested in her home on charges of rebellion.

Palabay said most of the victims of the killings, disappearances, and arrests are human rights defenders who were tagged by the Armed Forces of the Philippines as members of communist fronts.

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About Tanggol Bayi

Established in 2008, Tanggol Bayi is an association of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in the Philippines. It is formed primarily for the recognition, advancement, and protection of the rights of women human rights defenders who are advocating for the realization of human rights.
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