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 an article for Bulatlat Marya Salamat dicusses the history of the 1986 assasinations of Kilusang Mayo Uno chairperson Rolando Olalia and union organizer Leonor Alay-ay and the culture of impunity that is still keeping the families of Olalia and Alay-ay from seeking justice:
If Martial Law had been truly ended, there would be no more impunity in rights violations. But even as young and old activists recalled the heroism of millions of ordinary Filipinos who resisted and eventually brought down the Marcos dictatorship – and paid a heavy price— “the laws, the policies and programs, the armed forces” of all past administrations “from Aquino to Aquino” remained structured as those during Martial Law, according to Karapatan.
Olalia and Alay-ay were abducted and brutally murdered at a time when the Philippines was still basking in the afterglow of Edsa people power. It happened only eight months since the supposed end of martial law. The gruesome killing of Olalia and Alay-ay, whose bodies bore signs of torture, shattered the illusion of supposed restoration of democracy, as the mourners who marched at the Olalia-Alay-ay funeral had said. The march of nearly a million mourners at the funeral of Olalia and Alay-ay was the first huge protest held by peoples’ organizations which had “critically supported” the new Aquino regime.
Investigations pointed to soldiers belonging to the right-wing group Rebolusyonaryong Alyansang Makabansa or RAM, associated with then Defense Sec. Juan Ponce Enrile (currently Senate president) and Gringo Honasan (now a senator).
Meanwhile, despite evidences and eyewitnesses, the accused killers of Olalia and Alay-ay, thirteen known members of RAM, have so far evaded arrest by invoking the amnesty granted them after their failed coups.