Philippines: Cases of Enforced Disappearances Rising

Apr. 11, 2007

Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights)
2/F Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin cor. Matatag Sts., Bgy. Central, Quezon City 1101 PHILIPPINES

Telefax: (+632) 4354146


Press Statement
April 9, 2007
Reference: Marie Hilao-Enriquez, Secretary General, No. 0917-8176274

” the military and many key officials have buried their collective heads in the sand and announced that business will continue as usual” Prof. Philip Alston, referring to the Philippine military in his initial report to the UN Human Rights Council of his visit to the Philippines, March 27, 2007


While the nation was rushing to observe the Lent Season, military forces were rushing to abduct, disappear and kill leaders and members of progressive groups in the name of “crushing the insurgency.”

Like the Roman soldiers who swooped down to arrest the innocent Jesus, AFP elements conducted their actions with swift precision and brazen impunity, with leaders and members of progressive organizations as their innocent victims.

Indeed, Prof. Philip Alston was right about the military. But, they (military) not only “buried their collective heads in the sand and announced that business will continue as usual,” they are doing the business more briskly and with more impunity.

From March 22 April 3 or within 13 days, 7 victims fell prey to abductions and disappearances, two of whom turned up dead; one girl was killed in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Cavite and Compostela Valley in Mindanao. It is as if the more the human rights community assail and protest these dastardly acts, the more the perpetrators are emboldened to commit them.

These, despite the government’s announcements that measures are being taken to “resolve the problems.” It becomes more ironic that the government would even use these killings as a way for foreign governments “to provide funds” purportedly to “help them solve the killings” by implementing “special courts to try those accused of killings, to broaden the witness protection program,” etc.

All these measures are lip service to calm down the criticisms on these crimes against humanity being perpetrated by the government against its own people. Unless the government has the will power to order its armed forces and police to stop all these human rights violations, the killings, disappearances and other forms of human rights abuses will continue.

KARAPATAN strongly condemns all these violations and warn the GMA regime to learn the lessons of the past; otherwise she’ll suffer the same fate as that of the hated dictator.####

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