Is Aquino’s ‘superbody’ worth USD 13M and aid from the international community? — Karapatan

Nov. 28, 2012

Press release
28 November 2012

“Would the Aquino government finally pull off the USD 13 million and other foreign aid, which means money from the international community, with the creation of Aquino’s ‘superbody’ to investigate the killings, disappearances, torture and other rights violations?,” Karapatan secretary-general Cristina Palabay asked wryly.

Karapatan said that the Aquino government is “hell bent on securing the more than USD 13 million in US military assistance to the GPH that it does anything to deodorize its human rights record.”  Since 2008, the said military aid remains unreleased due to international pressure from various Philippine solidarity groups that campaigned on the issue of extrajudicial killings and other rights violations.

“If and when the government gets the aid, the money will only be used to oil the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to continue the cycle of terror and violence against the people,” Palabay added.

In the past months, Secretary of Justice Leila De Lima, representing the President, was in various international forum to “raise awareness” on the Aquino government’s “human rights achievements.”

De Lima attended the Universal Periodic Review process at the United Nations and had, reportedly, met with officials of the State Department, the Department of Defense and with the American legislators led by Representative Rogers who chairs the US House Committee on Appropriations.  Karapatan chided the government for “peddling lies” to get the military aid.

In an earlier statement, Karapatan questioned the creation of the ‘superbody’ specifically because the Defense Secretary, the Chief of Staff of the AFP and director general of the Philippine National Police are included in the inter-agency committee created by Noynoy Aquino’s AO No. 35.

“It is unimaginable how the victims can trust this superbody when, almost always, members of these agencies are the identified perpetrators of human rights violations.  Aquino’s promotion of military officers like Gen. Jorge Segovia, who is charged in court for the torture of the members of Morong 43, is enough proof that the government will not punish its own men,” she said.

“Nothing less than an end to Oplan Bayanihan would make us believe the government’s sincerity to stop the killings and other human rights violations,” Palabay concluded.

For reference:
Cristina ‘Tinay’ Palabay,
Secretary-general, 0917-316-2831

Angge Santos,
Media liaison, 0918-979-0580

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