By Joey Natividad
SORSOGON CITY (BicolToday.com/24-July-2012) – Human rights group KARAPATAN in Sorsogon scoffed off P-Noy’s SONA address on Monday as “bubbles of promises” heaped upon the Filipino masses while the people suffer on misery, worsening poverty, human rights violation aggravated by “culture of impunity”, militarization of rural areas, and rampant exploitation of natural and mining resources.
The group cited that its national office has documented 99 cases of extra-judicial killings (EJK), 10 cases of “forced disappearances”, and countless reports of human rights violations, including bombings, aerial strafing, and forced dislocation of residents.
In the Bicol Region, KARAPATAN Sorsogon said 31 persons were victims by EJK, two cases in Sorsogon this year.
The rights group pointed at the Army 31st IBPA, based at Rangas, Juban, Sorsogon, for waging “terror” at the villages of Gubat, Bulusan, Barcelona, Sta Magdalena, Matnog, Bulan, Magallanes, Juban, and Casiguran.
“Even in Sorsogon City, we received reports of a minor who was raped by members of the CAFGU paramilitary unit,” said KARAPATAN by email.
The group also singled out on ex-Army Major Jovito Palparan Jr., for escaping from justice and becoming a fugitive to evade being arrested for his involvement on the abduction of 2 University of the Philippines students, Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan. One soldier responsible for the abduction of Jonas Burgos was even promoted. It named suspect Harry Baliaga, who was involved in the Burgos abduction, is now an Army major.
KARAPATAN also mentioned the killings of environmentalists Romualdo Palispis, William Gentman, Gerry Ortega, and Fr. Fausto “Pops” Tentorio.
“17 environmentalists who opposed mining and logging were killed since P-Noy took over,” said the rights group.
It also blamed the Aquino Administration for the death of many civilians and human rights violations under its counter-insurgency program Oplan BAYANIHAN. [BicolToday.com]
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