Aussie rights defender says Philippines a paradise for the wealthy and
purgatory for the rest

KARAPATAN Press Statement

30 June 2013

“Progress limited, some backsliding: needs to do better, but systemic
barriers suggest will not improve,” is how Australian Professor Gill
Boehringer, Esq. viewed the three years of the Aquino government.

Prof. Boehringer, an expert on contemporary state and corporate abuse of
human rights, has written a number of articles on Philippine lawyers,
human rights and the Philippine elections and justice system.

In a statement, he illustrated the Aquino regime’s track in the past
three years, saying the Aquino administration “in order to maintain its
anti-people program has dished up through an adoring media the
self-serving and contentious message that the economy is doing really
well, and receiving plaudits from round the globe; corruption is under
attack; and the protection of human rights is improving and is far
better than under his predecessor.”

But in reality, he quickly added, “it (the Aquino government) has failed
to act to effectively prosecute and sanction human rights violators.”
Prof. Boehringer also pointed to the government’s failure “to prioritize
Freedom of Information legislation which is essential for a genuine
human rights regime.”

In July, Prof. Boehringer joins human rights and peace advocates from
all over the world who are attending the International Conference for
Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines. Prof. Boehringer is set to
address the conference on the U.S. government’s Asian pivot and the role
of Australia as its ally.

“Of course we know that (Noynoy Aquino’s) real “bosses” (the rich and
powerful) are not the ones who have to worry about their human rights
being violated or ignored. The country is following the typical
neo-liberal program whereby inequality worsens, hunger and poverty
continue at high rates, citizens are driven overseas so their family may
have a better income while unemployment, under-employment and child
labor remain significant problems,” he observed.

“In a country with a semi-feudal political-economic system generating a
huge gap between rich and the masa, the former will fight in every way
possible to maintain the structure of social, political and economic
relations-including relations of coercion, violence and state/corporate
terror- which have made the Philippines a paradise for the wealthy and
purgatory for the rest,” he ended.

Prof. Boehringer is a former Dean of Macquarie University Law School,
Sydney, Australia, and Former Director of the Center for the Critical
and Historical Study of the Common Law. He was a delegate in the
People’s International Observers’ Mission during the Philippine
elections in 2007 and 2010, and personally observed the 2013 elections. ###

Reference: Cristina “Tinay” Palabay, Host Country Committee
Secretariat, +63917-3162831

Prof. Gill Boehringer –

Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES 1101
Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146

KARAPATAN is an alliance of human rights organizations and programs,
human rights desks and committees of people’s organizations, and
individual advocates committed to the defense and promotion of people’s
rights and civil liberties. It monitors and documents cases of human
rights violations, assists and defends victims and conducts education,
training and campaign.