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.
The human rights alliance, Karapatan, was called “the enemy” by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes because the organization had opposed Brig. Gen. Baladad‘s recent promotion due to numerous allegations of human rights abuses against him:
“Defense by offense. This is a classic case of someone who is cornered and has nowhere to go, and there’s no other way but to punch one’s way out. Straight from the horse’s mouth, the Armed Forces of the Philippines finally confirmed that it considers Karapatan its enemy. By calling Karapatan its enemy, the AFP had justified that the victims of human rights violations are also its enemies,” Cristina Palabay, said secretary general of Karapatan.
“The AFP and its officials are making a fool of themselves by saying they are human rights advocates. The military’s record of human rights violations speaks for itself,” added Palabay.
“Coballes’ statement signifies the AFP’s continued operations against those whom they perceive as ‘enemies’ of the Aquino administration, and that includes not only members of Karapatan but also leaders and members of people’s organizations and communities opposed to the Aquino government’s anti-people policies,” Palabay said.
Karapatan has documented 142 cases of extrajudicial killing and 164 frustrated killing; 16 incidents of enforced disappearance; 76 cases of torture; 293 cases of illegal arrest and detention. “Di namin papatulan yang work-work together na linya ng AFP. Any respectable human rights organization will not be trapped into their lies on security sector reform. We have, and will always, work with the poor and marginalised Filipino people,” said Palabay.
Meanwhile, reports of bombing of residents of Brgy. Ganta, Shariff Saidona Mastapha, Maguindanao by the 2nd Mechanized Brigade, 45th and 7th Infantry Battalion PA reached Karapatan. Two children and four adults were wounded in the course of the military operation. They are Brgy. Councilor Omar Kalimbang, Fatima Balilid, a two year old girl, a four year old boy, couple Alimundo and Donna Alon and Nasser Kamid. All were rushed to the hospital because of the sustained wounds.
“Instead of questioning the veracity of our reports of human rights violations done by its men, the AFP should instead pull out from the communities and stop fabricating charges and conducting illegal arrest and detention of leaders and members of people’s organizations,” ended Palabay.