“Two UN officials have called the Philippine government to task for human rights violations committed by the AFP and its paramilitary groups against indigenous peoples. The Philippine government is gaining international notoriety for the unabated human rights crisis. Unfortunately, President Aquino, the AFP’s commander in chief, is just too busy politicking and campaigning for 2016.”

Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda Ilagan scoring the Philippine government’s indifference to the plight of indigenous communities and international criticism being hurled towards the Philippine government for its failure to address the increasing number of human rights violations in the Philippines.

“President Aquino is once more proving to be the heartless, selfish and callous haciendero unmindful of the deaths, displacement and destruction around him.  It does not even concern him that there is now a clamor for the government to address these human right violations from the international community. Habang pinapatay ang mga katutubo’t Lumad na dumedepensa sa kanilang mga lupaing inaagaw at winawasak ng mga malalaking kumpanyang nagmimina, abalang-abala siya sa  pangangampanya at pagtitiyak sa pagkapanalo ng manok niya sa 2016.”

Ilagan said Aquino should now start ordering the pull out of troops from Lumad communities and the disbandment of paramilitary groups formed by the AFP.

Last January 31, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons Chaloka Beyani issued a strong statement urging “the Philippine government, in consultation with indigenous peoples themselves to give greater attention to addressing  the causes of displacement whether it be due to the militarization of their areas or due to development projects.”

Dr. Beyani has since defended his statement which has been distorted and manipulated by the AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command. The EastMincom spokesperson Col Eduardo Gubat has since resigned from his post.

Last August 11, UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples expressed concern at the killings and vioaltions that have targeted indigenous peoples. At the State of Indigenous Peoples’ Address, Corpuz stated how some 100 IPs were killed protecting their ancestral lands and the environment. She said, “violation of the right to participate and to assert their claims to their lands must be avoided.”

Posted By: Lynne Pingoy


Author: tuklasinnatin

A Journalist and served government for 20 years. A community organizer who rose from a clan of artists and novelists.

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