SF CHRP (San Francisco Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines) is a San Francisco based human rights advocacy group. Latest news and views on human rights in the Philippines.
On the International Day of the Disappeared Karapatan writes:
As families and friends of the disappeared call for the surfacing and justice for their loved ones today, Karapatan challenged Pres. Noynoy Aquino to sign into law the long-pending legislation criminalizing the act of enforced or involuntary disappearances and penalizing state security forces and government officials involved in the perpetuation of such acts.
“Disappearances have continued to this day, with 11 victims under the Aquino administration. Such are still being perpetrated not only by the AFP but also by their paramilitary groups, such as the RPA-ABB. Jully Devero, Gerald Abale, Novito Gabriel, Michael Celeste, four farmers in Negros were abducted and are still missing because of the RPA-ABB’s role in the Aquino government’s counter-insurgency program,” Palabay commented.
Mercenary groups such as the RPA-ABB are included in the Social Integration Program under the government’s Oplan Bayanihan, and Executive Order 546, an Arroyo measure legitimizing the operations of paramilitaries and private armies, has not been revoked by Aquino.
The practice of enforced disappearance among those it perceives as “enemies of the state” did not stop when martial law was ended. The practice of enforced disappearance, although not highlighted, continues up to the present, where there are already 11 documented victims in the first two years of the Aquino presidency.
Also, the existence of the paramilitary groups which started during martial law and proliferated during the Cory Aquino is again sowing terror in the far-flung provinces doing the dirty work for the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ counter-insurgency activities.