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.
Despite president Noynoy Aquino proclaiming that the human rights situation in the Philippines has gotten better under his watch the human rights alliance, Karapatan, has documented otherwise:
Karapatan, through its chairperson Marie-Hilao Enriquez, raised alarm on the spate of arrests involving a former political prisoner and a farmer and the abduction and disappearance of another farmer and a tricycle driver in less than a week. “Will Pres. Aquino brag about these rights violations in his 4th State of the Nation Address?” Enriquez,said.
Aristedes Sarmiento, a former political detainee who was among the “Tagaytay 5”, was rearrested on July 16 in the house of barangay captain Julianita Abuel Lagaya at 51 Mabini St., Bgy. 7, Lucban, Quezon in a joint operation by elements of the Lucban Municipal Police Station, Regional Intelligence Police Regional Office-CALABARZON, Military Intelligence Group (MIG4), Intelligence Service of the AFP (ISAFP), 1st Special Forces Company, 201st Infantry Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, Naval Intelligence Security Group (NISG 4) led by Police Chief Inspector Juan Byron Reyes Leogo, Officer-In-Charge.
Sarmiento was arrested for murder through a warrant of arrest signed by Judge Napoleon E. Matienzo of the Regional Trial Court Branch 62 in Gumaca, Quezon, with no bail recommended. Named in the warrant are Felicardo Salamat, Arnold Albarillo, Cecilia Mondia with a certain Ruben Estocado who was primarily charged.
In Bataan, two farmers and a tricycle driver were abducted by elements of the 703rd IB-Philippine Army on July 11 in Bgy. Liyang, Pilar. Josue Ortiz, 23, was brought to the 24th IB-PA headquarters where he was initially kept from his parents and members of the Karapatan quick-reaction team (QRT). After four days in detention, Ortiz was brought to the Bataan provincial court on July 15, and charged with illegal possession of firearms and explosives. As the judge is set to hear all cases for commitment order today, July 18, Ortiz was temporarily committed at the Balanga City Jail.
The 24th IBPA has been involved in the abduction and disappearance of two missing UP students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno and the arrest, detention and torture of Raymond Manalo, a witness in the Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeno case. The 24th IB has been designated in 2011 as a “territorial battalion” that integrates Army Reservists into the unit as “holding forces” in areas considered by the government as communist stronghold.
Earlier, on June 28, Juan Pablo Versoza, a member of the Alay Sining UP Diliman, and his wife Grace were illegally arrested in Marikina City through a defective warrant, with only aliases listed on the warrant. The names of the couple were only inserted in the warrant when they were arrested.
“This government practice of using alias warrants, illegal arrests through fabricated charges to justify its action against ordinary folks shows its desperation. This may be the start of the AFP’s another round escalation of its terror attacks against the people after it has admitted that Oplan Bayanihan is a failure. The human rights violations committed by Noynoy Aquino and his AFP is definitely an act of desperation, indeed a sign of failure and it’s turning its gun against the ordinary people, ” said Hilao-Enriquez.