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.
In a press release the human rights group Karapatan wrote:
Karapatan today joins members of the Morong 43 and the Council for Health and Development (CHD) in trooping to the two simultaneous hearings of the cases filed against former Pres. Gloria Arroyo and members of the military who committed abuses against the health workers when they were arrested and tortured, while they were in prison.
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 96 is set to hear the motion for reconsideration filed by former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on the civil case filed by six of the detained health workers. The court earlier junked the motion to dismiss filed by Arroyo.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Appointments will hear the petition filed by Karapatan, CHD and Dr. Alexis Montes of the Morong 43 opposing the promotion of Maj. Gen. Jorge Segovia, former Commanding Officer of the 2ndInfantry Division of Phil. Army, and Col. Aurelio Baladad, Commanding Officer of the 202nd Infantry Brigade PA.
“Among the most indicative elements of Marcos’ martial law at present is the persistence of impunity in perpetuating gross human rights violations by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, as exemplified in the case of Morong 43,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
Former Pres. Arroyo and the torturers of the Morong 43 remain free from accountability. “In fact they are squirming their way out of the cases through filing one court motion after another or through other made-up excuses, instead of facing the charges against them.”
“But what is more repulsive is the Aquino government’s move to promote rights violators like Maj. Gen. Segovia and Col. Baladad. This is simply a go-signal for rights violators to continue transgressing people’s rights. Without doubt, this is perpetuation of impunity,” added Palabay.
Earlier, Karapatan and CHD wrote the Commission on Appointments to express opposition to the confirmation of Lt. Gen. Jorge Segovia and Brig. Gen. Aurelio B. Baladad, who were both promoted. Karapatan said the two were “direct parties to the illegal arrest, torture and detention of the 43 health workers.”
“With what the Aquino government is doing, it is not hard to compare the present situation with what happened during martial law, when torturers such as Col. Rolando Abadilla, Rodolfo Aguinaldo, and Billy Bibit were likewise rewarded handsomely by Marcos. It only shows that the fight for justice and to end impunity is still on,” concluded Palabay.