Families of desaparecidos write letters to Pope Francis

nov152014 plaza miranda
November 2, 2014

MANILA – “Your Holiness, please intercede for us in seeking justice for our disappeared loved ones,” wrote families of desaparecidos to Pope Francis as they gathered at Plaza Miranda on All Souls Day.

As a renewal of vows to seek justice, they lighted candles and offered flowers to remember those who were forcibly abducted and disappeared by state security forces since martial law up to the present.

“It has been the practice of families and relatives of victims of enforced and involuntary disappearances to gather every November 2. Beyond remembering, we come together as a reminder that our loved ones have yet to be surfaced and the state’s policy of enforced disappearances be stopped,” said Desaparecidos secretary general Aya Santos.

It has become more significant as families of desaparecidos gathered to join the nation in awaiting the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines in January 2015.

Santos explained they have followed and listened to series of statements Pope Francis on justice and human rights. For the families, his visit is an opportune time to voice out the injustice and rights violations in the Philippines.

“Hope springs when on several occasions he made clear his firm stands to defend human rights and in seeking social justice. We turn to the Pope for support because under the current regime of Noynoy Aquino, human rights violations against the people intensify without let up. We stand as testimonies to the gross situation of human rights here,” Santos said.

Santos said there have been 21 victims of abduction under Pres. Aquino and has since added up to the number of desaparecidos since the Marcos dictatorship.

Despite the passage of the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Law, the crime of enforced disappearance continues as a state policy under Oplan Bayanihan, Aquino’s counter-insurgency program. Also, as a DAP recipient program, it uses public funds to abduct, torture and disappear persons. It also uses funds to coddle the likes of butcher Jovito Palparan who is a ‘free man’ at Fort Bonifacio.

“We pray that the good Pope will listen to our plea and stand one with us in calling to stop enforced disappearances in the Philippines. Dear Pope, please heed our call for justice. We cry out to surface all the disappeared, in the Philippines and other parts of the world, such as in Latin America and Argentina, the Pope’s homeland,” said Santos.

Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis is from Argentina, a nation that also suffered the worst kind of human rights violations under a dictatorial rule in the 1970s. ###

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Palparan’s transfer to Philippine Army Custodial Center, injustice to victims

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Press Statement | karapatan.org
September 15, 2014
Today’s decision of the Malolos Court to transfer “The Butcher” Jovito Palparan to the custody of the Philippine Army from the Bulacan Provincial Jail bodes evil to the hundreds of victims of the retired general and his ilk in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“The AFP moved heaven and earth to secure and bring back home their impunity icon Palparan. Although not surprising as it is packaged with Palparan’s supposed arrest, the transfer is nonetheless ominous for the case’s trial, eventual prosecution, and jailing of Palparan,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay.
“AFP chief of staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang, 10th ID and former ISAFP chief Eduardo Año, and DND secretary Voltaire Gazmin have been building up towards this transfer, using the worn-out alibi, if not imagined, ‘threat to the safety and security’ of Palparan,” she added.
Palabay said the BS Aquino regime never thought of the safety and security of its citizens not only in terms of the pervading criminality but also in terms of the continuing rights violations. “Yet, The Butcher Palparan, with hundreds of victims of human rights violations, gets top priority for protection, not unlike the treatment the plunderers get in this rotten regime.”
The BS Aquino regime and the AFP will never ever allow the likes of Palparan be jailed, “because the arrest and jailing of Palparan is an indictment of the whole AFP, which abounds with Palparan clones.”  ###
Reference:    Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Secretary General, 0917-3162831
              Angge Santos, Media Liaison, 0918-9790580

Palparan transfer to military camp a realignment of the cosmos

How can something so routinary such as the detention of one man accused of horrific crimes against humanity be so complicated and fussy as to compel the realignment of the cosmos and tripping over of the government all over itself to suit his convenience and preference? This will serve as a bad precedent and example for all those who can wreak evil and get concessions along the way.

Palparan’s transfer to Philippine Army Custodial Center, based on alleged threats that have been proven in court today to be all speculative, does not answer the question of why a civilian should be detained in a military facility. Why, for heaven’s sake, in all places his old stomping grounds the headquarters of the Army?

It just doesn’t make sense.

Palparan and his gang, as well as his padrinos in high places, will be having a bacchanalian party tonight and high fives among themselves because the system has again  worked in favor of the rich, powerful, influential and with connections.

Yet again, what do we seek: justice for the victims or convenience for the accused? Indeed there is so much to be distressed, yet so much to fight for.#

Private Prosecutors by:
Edre U. Olalia
NUPL Secretary General

Palparan’s homecoming to military custody shows arrest was staged – Anakbayan

September 15, 2014

Jovito Palparan’s transfer to military HQ is Daang Matuwid-style VIP treatment for human rights violators. This homecoming is a grave insult to the families of the victims of extrajudicial killings, human rights abuse, torture and disappearances.

This shows that the “arrest” of Palparan was only a show staged to salvage Aquino’s popularity. The script: he was to be arrested only to be taken home again under the special care of his fascist barkada. Aquino should be held accountable for coddling Palparan and continuing the fascist rampage against the people under his Oplan Bayanihan.

- Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson, 09399207114, @venzie

Rights group Hustisya calls for release of UP Pampanga students, scores police and military for unlawful arrest

News Release
11 August 2014

Rights group Hustisya on Sunday called for the immediate release of two UP Pampanga students, who were abducted Saturday afternoon in a Nueva Ecija town and were later found at the PNP Provincial Public Safety Company Headquarters in Cabanatuan City.

“The PNP should be accountable for their unlawful arrest and detention. We demand for their immediate release,” said Cristina Guevarra, Hustisya secretary general.

Gerald Salonga and Guiller Cadano, who both studied in UP Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga, were reportedly taken by unidentified men in two vehicles in the afternoon of August 9.

“Style na bulok ito ng PNP at AFP. Matapos dukutin ang mga aktibista magtatanim sila ng mga pekeng ebidensya, at saka sila magsasampa ng gawa-gawang kaso laban sa mga inaresto.” (This is the usual vicious practice of the PNP and AFP. Consequent to unlawful arrests and trumped-up charges is the planting of false evidences.). Their right to counsel were also violated, as they underwent summary inquest proceedings without the presence of any legal counsel,said Guevarra.

Guevarra said the PNP and AFP are nototriously known for this dastardly unlawful practice. The trumped-up charges are piling up against activists. There are currently 499 political prisoners under Pres. Benigno Aquino. More than 200 were arrested and detained under his watch. Majority of the causes of political imprisonment are products of false charges and planted evidences.

The group scored the Aquino government’s continuing malpractie of illegal arrests and detention, and filing of trumped-up charges against activists, while on the other hand is failing miserably to apprehend notorious human rights violators by the likes of Jovito Palparan the principal suspect in the abduction of UP students Karen Empeno and Sherly Cadapan.. ###

Reference: Cristina Guevarra, Hustisya secretary general 0949-1772928