Women's Appeal to Aquino: AIM FOR JUSTICE, TOO
“Women are watching not Aquino’s objective to marry but Aquino’s action for justice to indemnify victims of human rights violations,” stated the Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), a research and training institution for women, in reaction to President Aquino’s goal of getting married before his term ends in 2016.
“There is nothing wrong of planning for his personal happiness but as the president of the country, his plan should not just be for his own happiness. He should also think of the welfare of his “Bosses”, especially in giving immediate justice to those whose rights were violated,” explains CWR executive director Jojo Guan.
Guan cited the latest effort of the mothers of the two missing students of the University of the Philippines who filed charges against retired General Jovito Palparan, the alleged mastermind of the abductions and killings during the past Arroyo administration.
Reportedly, there have been hundreds of thousand victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, illegal arrest, threat, harassment and intimidation during the nine years of the Arroyo administration. Not one of the alleged perpetrators, particularly Palparan, has been put in jail.
According to Guan, part of the people’s expectation when Aquino came into power was the immediate prosecution of the violators of human rights. “Aquino’s daang matuwid remains to be seen as he pays no heed to the issue of eradicating the culture of militarism and impunity,” Guan stated.
According to Karapatan, a human rights organization, there is no significant difference from Arroyo to Aquino with regards to human rights record. Reportedly, in a span of eight months of Aquino in power, there have been 45 victims of extrajudicial killing. Karapatan also recorded that there are still 300 political prisoners languishing in jail. Amnesty International also reported that there are still 200 cases of enforced disappearances which stay unresolved and the perpetrators remain unscathed.
Guan added, “the ruling out of the Commission on Human Rights on the involvement of the military in the abduction of Melissa Roxas despite her testimony is another display of the government’s callousness that causes other victims to lose trust on the institution.”
In its women and militarism paper, CWR explained that the continuing human rights violations is the result of the unceasing counter-insurgency programs of the government, wherein the latest is the Oplan Bayanihan of the Aquino government.
“Historically, all the oplans designed by the government have been unsuccessful in curbing the insurgency. These counter-insurgency programs only resulted to massive displacement and loss of lives, women becoming widows, children being orphaned, and worse, women and children being raped and killed,” explained Guan.
Guan added, “as President Aquino is hell-bent in implementing Oplan Bayanihan, the culture of militarism will persist. The government’s pronouncement that it protects human rights is similar to a husband who declares his love after beating his wife.” CWR (2011, June 03)