PRESS STATEMENT Reference: Atty. Poch Cinco
06 December 2007 Mobile No.: 09155565454
On the occasion of the 59th Annual Commemoration of the United Nation’s proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we in KARAPATAN renew our call for the ouster of the illegitimate government of Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in order to improve the human rights situation in the country.
The civil, political, economic and social rights of every Filipino are being violated with impunity by this dangerous, fascist regime. Its counterinsurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya II, the Anti-Terror Law and other draconian measures are brutal testimonies to its bloody human rights record. This year alone, 68 Filipinos became victims of political killings and 26 of enforced disappearances. Among those assassinated was Mario ‘Mayong’ Auxilio, secretary-general of BAYAN Muna in Bohol, who shot by 15th IB asset Hilario Diola on June 15, 2007 in Bien Unido public market.
But the world is not sitting down. The mounting pressure on Gloria government from US Senate, United Nations, European Union, diplomatic community and various local and international human rights group has prompted this government to keep appearances of addressing worsening human rights violations. The Gloria government believes this would enough to placate international clamor for accountability as it prepares for the April 2008 Universal Periodic Review as a member of the UN Human Rights Council.
However, this government can not escape the facts. From January 2001 to October 31 this year, there are a total of 887 victims of political killings, and 185 victims of enforced disappearances. Not one perpetrator had been convicted and brought to jail.
Even the remedial measure by the Supreme Court – the writ of amparo – is proving to be prone to military circumvention. This has been shown by the military practice of coercing abduction and torture victims to declare that they chose to remain in military custody.
The climate of impunity on human rights violations and state terrorism continue under the Gloria government. It is not enough to just change a policy; the source of this policy must be removed. Gloria Arroyo must go.