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Human rights abuses in PH abetted by US gov’t thru military aid

03:02 AM March 12, 2014

The US State Department report on the human rights abuses in the Philippines is hypocritical because the United States is equally responsible for the abuses through military aid, deployment of troops and a counterinsurgency blueprint that is anchored on the Aquino administration’s Oplan Bayanihan.

The US government foments human rights abuses in the Philippines by filling up the military war chest of the government under Mr. Aquino. 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 United States propped up regimes which are human rights violators—from the time of the Marcos dictatorship up to the present.

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The report, which came out two months after US State Secretary John Kerry’s $40-million pledge in new military aid to the Philippines, is a deceitful image-building propaganda. The US government is trying to soften its image among Filipinos and 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 the US government’s renewed support for Oplan Bayanihan and for the Philippine government’s 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 (counterinsurgency program under 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 under the Aquino presidency, at times immediately dismissing them as “communist propaganda.” Impunity exists because not one perpetrator has been arrested, prosecuted and jailed—instead many have been promoted.

—CRISTINA PALABAY,

secretary general, Karapatan,

[email protected]

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TAGS: Aquino administration, Benigno Aquino III, human rights, human-rights abuses, John Kerry, military aid, New People’s Army, oplan bayanihan, President Aquino, US State Department
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