Rights group slams possible appointment of former general to peace panel

Jan. 27, 2015

Human rights group Karapatan opposes the possible appointment of former armed forces General Emmanuel Bautista as chair of the government’s (GPH) peace panel with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay said in a statement Tuesday that the retired general “is the last person fit to sit as chair of the GPH’s peace panel.”

The group alleged that Bautista was the “brain of Oplan Bayanihan”, the government’s anti-insurgency campaign adding that the former general “seems uninterested in tackling the roots of the armed conflict.”

Under Oplan Bayanihan, Karapatan recorded 229 victims of extrajudicial killings, 26 enforced disappearances, 700 illegally arrested and detained, and over 46,000 victims of forced evacuations.

“The possibility of Gen. Bautista heading the panel does not encourage good will for the peace talks to continue. We call for a resumption of the talks that would tackle the substantive agenda and not a circus,” Palabay said.

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