“His government is shameless. He is impunity personified. His name is Noynoy ‘Impunity’ Aquino,” Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general said on the eve of the International Day to End Impunity, November 23.
“There is madness going on right before our eyes with witnesses and potential witnesses being killed one by one. The Ampatuans may be in jail but their power has not diminished. They are still able to silence witnesses. But what is BS Aquino government doing?” Palabay asked.
On November 19, the former driver of Ampatuan Sr., Dennis Sakal was killed while Butch Saudagal, known as Ampatuan Jr’s bagman, was wounded. Both were shot while riding a motorcycle to Sharrif Aguak.
“The BS Aquino government coddles the Ampatuans in the same way that it coddles and protects the notorious general Jovito Palparan who is housed at the Philippine Army camp,” Palabay said.
Five years ago, the whole world was stunned with the massacre of 58 persons. Five years have passed and still no sign of conviction for the murderers,” Palabay said.
Karapatan twits Coloma: BS Aquino’s rights record speaks for itself
In response to Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.’s statement yesterday on “baseless” rights abuses under Aquino, Palabay said that “Malacanang keeps denying what is obvious and blatantly happening, such as killings and other human rights violations, in the same manner that it denies its criminal neglect of typhoon Yolanda victims.”
Karapatan enumerated several unsolved cases such as the killing of Fr. Fausto Tentorio, Datu Jimmy Liguyon, town councillor Fernando Baldomero, the massacre of botanist Prof. Leonard Co, Sofronio Cortez and Julius Boromeo and anti-mining activist Juvy Capion and her two sons.
“While there are is not even a hint that justice will be served on the victims of these killings, the BS Aquino government, through the Armed Forces of the Philippines, has not stopped in its killing spree. Their pronouncements invoking adherence to international human rights standards are all for show. Even the United Nations human rights experts and international monitors have seen through their lies,” said Palabay.
The human rights group documented 222 victims of extrajudicial killing, 221 frustrated killings, 104 victims of torture and more than 40,000 who forcibly evacuated due to military operations.
Palabay cited the continuing massive deployment of AFP troops in the Caraga region where at least four battalions are currently conducting military operations.
Since November 1, there are two missing farmer-small scale miners in the Bayugan, Agusan del Sur who have yet to be found—Philims and Philip Poloyapoy. Their brother, Filjohn, was found dead on November 3. The three were arrested by elements of the 75th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army (IBPA) while conducting combat operations on November 1 at Purok 13,Bagong Silang, Brgy Bayugan 3, Rosario, Agusan del Sur.
The Poloyapoy brothers first encountered the military on October 31 on the way to the gold-panning site. They came from their farm. Filjohn was walking ahead of Philip and Philims. They had with them a “jolen gun” (a homemade gun made of PVC pipe that uses marbles for bullets and alcohol as fuel). The brothers use the gun to hunt birds and to drive away boars that destroy their crops.
Unknown to Philip and Philims, who were behind Filjohn, there were already soldiers ahead of them. The two were after the birds they saw and fired their “jolen gun”. The soldiers, who were now with Filjohn, were alarmed and fired at Philip and Philims. Fortunately, they were not hit. The soldiers left after they scolded and warned the brothers. The three were last seen on November 1. They told their mother they would be going to their farm huts.
“Nakakasuklam na ito. The Aquino government can afford to drag its heels on the Ampatuan massacre and go easy with the Ampatuans even as the world watches. We can just imagine what happens to the case of the Poloyapoys and many other lesser-known individuals from the villages who become victims of the government’s fascist attacks. The world does not know them. The only way for us to end impunity is to also end the reign of the impunity king, BS Aquino,” Palabay concluded. ###