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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.

NY Rights Group Called Out Aquino on “Leftist Propaganda” Comment On Human Rights

Edita Burgos whose husband was disappeared during the Marcos dictatorship and whose son was disappeared during the previous Arroyo administration lambasted President Aquino for saying that concerns over human rights violations was just mere “leftist propaganda” (photo courtesy of Bulatlat).

The New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), our sister organization, came out with this press release deriding President Noynoy Aquino’s dismissal over concerns of increasing human rights violations in the Philippines:

A human rights group in New York called the Philippine President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III “irresponsible for dismissing the issues of human rights violations in the Philippines as mere leftist propaganda.”

“The president should be ashamed for saying that.” Stated Yoko Liriano of the New York Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP). The human rights group is reacting to the recent statement by Aquino in effort to belittle and discredit independent senatorial candidate Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna Party List. Casino is a known critic of Aquino’s policies and is an ardent supporter and advocate for human rights.

“Aquino should be reminded that human rights violations during the martial law period were also similarly dismissed by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos as mere propaganda. It’s sad because the victims of martial law include Aquino’s very own father Ninoy.” Liriano continued.

Liriano also pointed attention to the website of the US embassy in Manila on its report to the US Department of State regarding human rights in the Philippines. “Last May the US embassy acknowledged that there are more than 20 cases of human rights violations, including extra-judicial killings under the Aquino administration. Would Aquino accuse the US embassy of spewing leftist propaganda?” Liriano said.

Liriano also cited various reports from international human rights organizations such as the New York-based Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the United Nation’s Commission on Human Rights. “The reports don’t lie, there are human rights violations under Aquino” Liriano commented.

Hanalei Ramos, NYCHRP’s interim Logistics and Outreach officer shared concerns that the President’s dismissal of the human rights issues could in fact contribute to more human rights violations. “With the President saying things like that, it allows for the perpetrators to commit more violations. It’s like a go signal from the Commander-in-chief, because in the end, it will be dismissed as leftist propaganda anyway.” Ramos expressed.

Ramos also pointed out that there are several high profile cases of extra-judicial killings that occurred under the Aquino administration that remains unresolved particularly the cases of foreign nationals doing volunteer work in the country such as Italian Priest Fr. Fausto Tentorio and Dutch volunteer Willem Geertman. “The international community is well aware about the killings of these non-Filipinos in the Philippines. What is the President doing to resolve these cases?” Ramos asked.

Ramos also referred to the recent news from Mindanao that occurred on October 18. According to news reports a family was massacred in cold blood in Tampakan Village by the 27th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army. The attack killed the family of Daguil Capion, an indigenous anti-mining leader against the Xtrata-SMI’s mining operations. Also according to the news, Capion’s wife Juvy who was 2 months pregnant and her two other sons were killed instantly while 5 year-old daughter was wounded.

“Human rights violations can not be dismissed by the President or the Philippine government. Families being killed by the military are real. They are not propaganda. We from the international community are closely monitoring all human rights issues in the Philippines. The President should not insult the work that human rights advocates do.” Ramos ended.

Reference: Gary Labao
NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP)
Email: nychrp@ gmail.com

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This entry was posted on October 28, 2012 by and tagged , , , .

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