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.
Election season has just started in the Philippines as many Trapos (“traditional politicians ) gear up for election season by filling candidacy papers and tapping into their traditional support base in which they tend to rely on powerful political clans, powerful landlords, national political families, national and international corporations, illegal gambling profits and black-market money, and state-backed armed militias.
Karapatan, in a press release, laments the poor state of affairs of human rights in the Philippines and the Trapos roles in contributing to human rights abuses and political killings.
As the filing of candidacy ends today, Karapatan mourned the final line up of those running for public office, especially the senatorial candidates as they “are almost the same people, of the same lineage, and from the same brand of politics, who just sat down on the bills like the Indemnification of Marcos’ human rights victims, anti-Enforced Disappearance and the bill for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.
“These traditional politicians and so-called newbies, but of the same trapo mold, shamelessly flaunt the “alliance for reform” among the Liberal, Nationalista parties and UNA coalition. This alliance obviously promotes the culture of impunity in the country. Those who should be held accountable for their crimes against the people since martial law; those who approved the promotion of the Arroyo military officials with pending human rights cases before the courts; those who refuse to recognize the existence of political prisoners; those who said nothing on the continuing extrajudicial killings; and those who signed the Cybercrime law, now known as e-martial law, sit side by side with those who supposedly fought martial law, and uphold and protect human rights. How can we curb impunity with this kind of line up of candidates?” added Palabay.
Palabay said that, “looking at the lineup of candidates, there may just be a handful who will sincerely take on the human rights agenda as their advocacy.”
Karapatan, on its 4th National Congress held last August, came out with a resolution outlining the agenda to promote and defend human rights. The said Human Rights agenda will be presented to the candidates for various elective positions on the 2013 national elections.