Abra IP group wary of nat’l security adviser

>> Monday, June 13, 2016

By Aldwin Quitasol
BAGUIO CITY--The Abra-based group and provincial chapter of the Cordillera People’s Alliance, Kakailian Salakniban Tay Amin a Nagtaudan (Provincemates, let us defend our homeland or Kastan CPA-Abra) urged president-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to promote unity and human rights, and ensure justice is served to the victims of human rights violations in past administrations.
“We welcome president-elect Duterte’s position on several issues, such as resolving the armed conflict between the CPP-NPA-NDFP and the GPH, environmental protection, human rights and labor rights, among others. To work on promoting peace and unity, Duterte must ensure that justice is served to all victims of human rights violations. We are hoping to work with him for a better nation,” said Kastan chairperson Villamor   Pati.
However, Pati said Kastan is wary of “wolves dressing in sheep clothing” within Duterte’s cabinet.
Duterte is set to appoint former AFP Chief Of Staff Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. as national security adviser and Carlos Dominguez as Department of Finance Secretary.
He said that Esperon was former chief-of-staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He added “former military chief has been a strong implementor of the Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) which severely terrorized communities throughout the Philippines.”
        The OBL according to rights organizations and advocates, led to thousands of cases of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other human rights violations in the country.
         "To name a few, some of the victims under his watch include CPA pioneer member James Balao who was abducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and remain missing up to now; the extrajudicial killings of respected CPA leaders Markus Bangit, Albert Terredano and Alyce Claver and other leaders of peoples’ organizations.
Meanwhile, Dominguez was a former director of Lafayette mines which caused the mining disaster in Rapu-rapu, Albay resulting in the displacement of residents and destruction of its environment. Appointing these two could send the wrong message to the public,” added Pati.
The group also called on the Duterte administration to ensure that justice is served to victims of human rights violations of past regimes, as part of Duterte administration’s human rights program.

In Abra, several cases of human rights violations under the Aquino administration were recorded, such as the massacre of the Ligiw family on March 2014, the extrajudicial killing of engineer Fidela Salvador, the use of civilians as human shields in a combat operation by the 41st IB which led to the death of Noel Viste on September 2014, and the violations of the International Humanitarian Law with the brutal killing of members of the New People’s Army in Tineg on October 2013 and Lacub on September 2014.


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