21 June 2014
Reference: Ma. Cristina Guevarra, secretary general, 0949-1772928
Rights group denounces “UP outstanding alumnus on peace
and cohesion award” to AFP chief Gen. Bautista
UP DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY – Rights group Hustisya strongly
denounced the award given today to AFP chief Gen. Emmanuel Bautista as UP
outstanding alumnus on peace and social cohesion.
In a protest action infront of the UP Bahay ng Alumni, families of victims
of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances expressed dismay
that Gen. Bautista receives such award when “he brings dirty war, not
“Gen.Bautista is the brains behind Oplan Bayanihan, the Aquino
government’s counter-insurgency program. Because of Oplan Bayanihan,
extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances continue. Several
communities continue to experience harassment and forced evacuation,” said
Hustisya secretary general Cristina Guevarra.
The protesters presented a huge list of human rights violations under
Bautista and Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan. From June 30, 2010 to present,
there were 199 victims of extrajudicial killings, 202 victims of
frustrated extrajudicial killings, 21 victims of abduction and enforced
disappearances, and 94 victims of torture. There are also 489 political
prisoners, or those considered “enemies of the state” and charged with
They also brought with them photographs of victims of human rights
violations, including missing UP students Karen Empeño at Sherlyn Cadapan.
“Gen. Bautista and the AFP are outstanding human rights violators. They
perpetuated human rights violations from the previous oplans to the
present. They are masquerading for peace, while they silence people who
fight for their rights,” Guevarra said.
Oplan Bayanihan is the counter-insurgency program of the Aquino government
which replaced Oplan Bantay Laya. According to Hustisya, thousands have
been affected by military operations under the guise of Oplan Bayanihan’s
“peace and development teams.” Almost 40,000 individuals in communities of
farmers and indigenous people in different parts of the country forcibly
evacuated because soldiers occupied their homes, lands, schools and even
churches. They were under constant threat of surveillance and harassment
because they are accused by the military as supporters of the New People’s
Army. The most recent case is the forced evacuation of Manobos, indigenous
people in Talaingod, Davao del Norte, who were deployed with troops of AFP
“What peace and social cohesion is there when Gen. Bautista and his troops
bring unpeace to communities, their existence threatened, and their
livelihood destroyed?” Guevarra said.
Aside from being Oplan Bayanihan’s brains and operator, Gen. Bautista
replaced Gen. Jovito Palparan as head of the 702nd Infantry Brigade of the
7th Infantry Division of the AFP in 2008. It is the same military unit
that abducted Empeño at Cadapan. Bautista then became head of the
Philippine Army in 2011 and finally AFP chief in 2012.
“No justice has been served to victims of human rights violations. Despite
this, Gen. Bautista has the gall to say there are no more military
officials with the likes of Palparans in the AFP. But why do victims
continue to grow in number?” asked Guevarra.
According to the group the Aquino government only changed the name of its
internal peace security plan. “The Aquino government’s record on human
rights is becoming more rotten than ever. His minions like Gen. Bautista
and his troops should be made accountable in their continuous violations
to the rights of the people,” Guevarra said. ###
BS Aquino acquiesces to impunity as
Oplan Bayanihan nears deadline
From: Karapatan website
"With BS Aquino’s 743 more days in office, and his Oplan Bayanihan ends
with his term, we ask: how many more will be killed? Bodies of Aquino's
victims are piling up. Yet, Aquino has not owned up to his
accountability," Karapatan Chairperson Marie Hilao-Enriquez said. “In all
his years in power, Aquino has treaded the path of war and blocked all
roads to peace.”
Hilao-Enriquez said the arrest and detention of Em Mijares on Independence
Day showed the public one of the Aquino government’s practices to gag his
critics. Others get killed.
She cited the killing of Dionisio Garete, a farmer member of Panay Fair
Trade Center and colleague of slain Romeo Capalla. On May 26, Garete was
gunned down while driving his pick-up truck to deliver sugarcane to a
muscovado mill of Janiuay-Badiangan Farmers Association (Jabafa). The
Revolutionary Proletariat Army-Alex Buncayao Brigade (RPA-ABB) was
believed to have perpetrated the killing. Last January 2014, Garete
received a “warning” from a member of the RPA-ABB, allegedly for “being
too active in the other side.” Another relative reported that suspected
RPA-ABB members had been tailing Garete outside his house. The RPA-ABB is
a paramilitary group of the Philippine Army.
On June 4, Wilfredo Estrebillo, a motorcycle driver was found dead in
Sitio Pandulian, Barangay Mabantao, Municipality of Kapalong, Davao del
Norte, his body riddled with 17 bullets. Estrebillo's wife said in April
and May, military intelligence agents of the 60th IB-PA accused Estribillo
of being a sympathizer of the New People’s Army. An Order of Battle
maintained by the military had names of motorcycle drivers in relation to
the capture of Cpl. Rogelio Rosales by the NPA.
To date, there are 199 victims of extrajudicial killings. Estrebillo is
among the seven victims of EJK documented by Karapatan from April to
Tuazon Jr. was killed on April 27 while hunting for birds at Sitio
Dugyaman, Brgy. Anticala, Butuan City. After he was killed, a certain
Capt. Maglinao of the 29th IBPA announced over the local radio program
Radyo Trumpeta that they killed a member of the New People's Army,
referring to Ricardo Tuazon Jr.
● Arnel Tanduyan was
killed by suspected elements of the 73rd Infantry Battalion Philippine
Army inside his house on May 7, 2014 in Malita, Davao Occidental. Riding a
motorcycle on his way home, Arnel found logs blocking the road. Suddenly,
he heard gunshots and found his foot hit. He was still able to ride back
to his motorcycle and went straight home where he hid at the roof. The
perpetrators followed Tanduyan and sprayed bullets in his house.
● On May 21, also in
Malita, Davao Occidental, Tony Bago was riding his motorcycle to buy fish
when two men wearing ski masks stopped him and shot him four times in the
● On May 23, 2014 in
Sitio Hucdong, Brgy. Balocawe, Matnog, Sorsogon, soldiers from the 5th
Scout Ranger Company of the 31st Infantry Battalion under the 903rd
Brigade sprayed bullets at the house of Elias and Cynthia Garduque. This
immediately killed Elias who, at that time, was carrying his one-year-old
son, Eddie. The child was hit in the thigh. Ironically, Cynthia now faces
a charge of illegal possession of explosives.
● A farmer and
Municipal staff of Bayan Muna, Flaviano Morales was killed inside his
house in Brgy. Napungas, Municipality of Asuncion, Davao del Norte on June
13. Before the killing, elements of the 60th IBPA interrogated him twice.
FB post of UP Prof
Carl Marc Ramota
UP's decision to recognize Oplan Bayanihan's chief architect and
implementor, Gen. Bautista as outstanding alumnus for PEACE and social
cohesion comes as no surprise. It's the same university that named one of
its academic units after the late dictator's lapdog, levied fees on Class
D or indigent patients in UP-PGH, and forced students who failed to pay
tuition on time to file for leave of absence. It's a faithful reproduction
of the current state of affairs where plunderers and butchers remain at
large, become VIPs (Very Important Prisoners), or worse, promoted or
elected to higher office while the rest of the Filipino people continue to
wallow in poverty and misery.
FB Post of HUSTISYA'S Ma
Matagumpay na isinagawa ang kilos protesta kanina sa tapat ng UP Theater
para tuligsain ang paggawad ng parangal kay AFP Gen. Emmanuel Bautista
bilang outstanding alumnus on peace and social cohesion. Mula Bahay ng
Alumni, nag-procession ang mga alumni papunta ng UP Theater. Nakita nila
kaming lahat -- nakahanay, bitbit ang mga larawan ng mga biktima ng
extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances at listahan ng mga
paglabag. Habang nagsasalita kami sa programa, inaasahan kong makarinig ng
negative reactions mula sa mga alumni.
Pero maraming kumuha ng litrato, may nakangiti, may tumayo muna at nagbasa
bago pumasok, may nag-uusap at nagtuturo sa mga litrato. May mga kumuha
rin ng litratong alam mong nag-iintel(ligence) lang. May nakita akong
batchmate sa Collegian. May dean ng isang kolehiyo na dalawang beses
lumabas at sumilip sa protesta. May isang propesor at Martial Law victim
(dating aktibista) na nakangiting dumaan habang nagbabasa.
Siyempre pa, dumaan at nakita ni Gen. Bautista ang lahat. Kasama pa pala
niya si AFP spokesperson Maj. Tutaan. Liban sa mga pananalita, ang payapa
lang ng protesta kumpara sa bigat ng dalang isyu -- itong Oplan Bayanihan
at ang mga biktima nito -- na ang utak at nagpapatupad ay siya pang
pinaparangalan ng UP.
Sa mga panahong natitigilan habang nagsasalita, parang time travel ang
pakiramdam -- sa hanay, naalala ko sina Karen, sina Sherlyn. Iyong mga
wala na, iyong mga nawawala. Tiyak hindi sila matutuwa sa parangal na ito.
Tiyak na hindi rin sila matutuwa na patuloy ang pagpapatupad ng UP ng mga
neoliberal na patakaran, na patuloy itong instrumento ng pagpapalaganap ng
kultura ng kawalang pananagutan.
Siguro mali lang din ang akala ko na iismiran ng mga alumni kanina ang
protesta. Pero sana lang, sana lang talaga, hindi lang pang-souvenir
picture iyong kanina. At kaninang nagbabaliktanaw sila sa buhay nila sa
pamantasan, baliktanawan din sana nilang maraming kabataang mula sa
pamantasan ang tunay na naglingkod sa sambayanan. Maraming kabataan ang
nagbuwis ng buhay para sa marami at hindi para sa iilan.
At hinding hindi dapat parangalan, bagkus dapat panagutin, ang mga berdugo