Letter to the Editor:
Human rights violations in PH abetted by US govt
The US State Department report on the human rights abuses in the Philippines is hypocritical because the US is equally responsible for the said abuses through military aid, deployment of troops and a counterinsurgency program that is the blueprint of Aquino’s Oplan Bayanihan.
The US government foments human rights abuses in the Philippines by filling up the military war chest of the Aquino government. The US military aid is used for the implementation of Oplan Bayanihan, which already victimized thousands of Filipinos especially in the rural areas. Impunity persists precisely because of US backing. For its own political and economic interests, the US propped up regimes which are human rights violators—from the time of the Marcos dictatorship up to the present.
The report, which came out two months after Kerry’s $40 million pledge, is a deceitful image building propaganda. The US government is trying to soften its image among Filipinos and also in the international community as it prepares for an increased and permanent presence in the Philippines for its vaunted Asian pivot.”
US military aid to the Philippines rose to $30 million in 2012, from $11.9 million in 2011, signaling U.S. government’s renewed support for Oplan Bayanihan, the Aquino administration’s counter-insurgency program and the latest failing attempt to end a 45-year-old insurgency led by the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). Oplan Bayanihan has adopted a similar framework and similar techniques to Oplan Bantay Laya (counter-insurgency program under Macapagal-Arroyo administration), and has led to human rights violations.
From July 2010 to December 2013, Karapatan documented 169 victims of extrajudicial killing. In the first six weeks of 2014, Karapatan already documented seven victims of extrajudicial killing.
The Aquino government and its agencies are practically ignoring the killings that have been going on since the Aquino’s presidency, at times immediately dismissing them as ‘communist propaganda’. Impunity exists because there is not one perpetrator arrested, prosecuted and jailed—they are promoted.
Secretary General, Karapatan
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