Impunity prevails as butcher-generals appointed in key gov’t positions – Karapatan
STATEMENT: Not another butcher in Duterte’s cabinet, Rescind Año’s appointment!

Impunity prevails as butcher-generals appointed in key gov’t positions – Karapatan
publicinfo: May 11 11:57AM +0800

Press Statement
 
May 11, 2017
 
Reference: Cristina Palabay, Secretary General, +63917-3162831
 
Impunity prevails as butcher-generals appointed in key gov’t positions – Karapatan
 
 
“The most recent appointments of butcher-generals in the Duterte Cabinet furthers the militarization of the civilian bureaucracy and, in addition to pro-US officials and warmongers Delfin Lorenzana and Hermogenes Esperon, will inevitably result to more militarist and fascist policies that disregard the rights and welfare of peasant and indigenous communities,” Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay said, on the recent appointments of Armed Forces of the Philippines chiefs of staff Roy Cimatu and Eduardo Año, as new heads of the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) and of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
 
Prior to this, former AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Ricardo Visaya was as head of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) last March 7, 2017, while the main implementer of counter-insurgency program Oplan Bayanihan, which resulted to extrajudicial killings of many peasants and indigenous peoples,
Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, was appointed last year as Under Secretary.
 
Palabay said Año was implicated in the abduction and disappearance of activist Jonas Burgos on April 28, 2007, but was however absolved by the Department of Justice in 2013 and promoted as a four-star general and as chief of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during the BS Aquino regime. Año is also said to be responsible for the killing spree of Lumad and illegal arrest and filing of trumped-up charges against activists during his stint as the commanding officer of the 10th
Infantry Division-Philippine Army in Mindanao, among others.
 
Meanwhile, Cimatu was at the helm of the AFP Southern Command from September 2001 to May 2002 when civilians who came to be known as the Basilan 72 were arrested on wrongful accusations that they were Abu Sayaf members. During his brief stint as AFP Chief of Staff from May 2002 to
September 2002, Cimatu led the implementation of the bloody counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya.
 
Cimatu was also accused of accumulating ill-gotten wealth from the conversion of military funds during the time of the Arroyo regime. Along with other high-ranking AFP officials, the Department of Justice
recommended the filing of plunder cases on 2011. The case, though later dismissed, demonstrated corruption within the military, implicating no less than its top officers.
 
“With butcher-generals at the helm of a department overseeing the brutal and corrupt Philippine National Police amid its war on drugs and one that is notorious for conniving with the interests of big mining corporations, how can pro-people policies be implemented if those appointed in key government posts have been proven to be rights violators themselves?” Palabay said.
 
“This brings into serious concern the direction with which the Duterte administration is veering towards. The rise of military generals in key government positions is a preview of a leadership strongly influenced by rightist-militarists who were at the forefront of implementing fascist policies such as the US-driven counter-insurgency programs. Lest we forget, these generals have a bloody record of violations and crimes against the Filipino people. This is exactly how impunity prevails, when rights
violators are accorded medals and positions, while victims and their families are left without an iota of justice. Truly, impunity can only continue with the tacit compliance of those in power,” added Palabay.
 
“If the Duterte administration continues with where it is headed, then there can be no respite in rights abuses, both in rural communities and in the urban centers. The President must remember that he is not the head of the State to only use the position to churn out favors to military generals, nor was he elected to be a mere instrument of US-loyal and fascist military men,” Palabay concluded.
 
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PUBLIC INFORMATION DESK
publicinfo@karapatan.org
———————————————————————
Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights
2nd Flr. Erythrina Bldg., #1 Maaralin corner Matatag Sts., Central District
Diliman, Quezon City, PHILIPPINES
1101Telefax: (+63 2) 4354146
Web: http://www.karapatan.org

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.
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STATEMENT: Not another butcher in Duterte’s cabinet, Rescind Año’s appointment!
Hustisya: May 11 08:46AM +0800

PRESS STATEMENT
11 May 2017​
 
 
Not another butcher in Duterte’s cabinet, Rescind Año’s appointment!
 
 
Rights groups Hustisya and Desaparecidos condemn the appointment of Gen. Eduardo Año to the Department of Interior and Local Government. This is tantamount to more rights abuses against the people, with Año bringing the same brutal mindset of the AFP to the already notorious Philippine National Police.
 
 
It pains the families of victims of rights violations to repeatedly enumerate the violations perpetrated by the military under Año. His appointment smacks of impunity, while he and his men remain unaccountable for thousands of rights violations under Año’s watch.
 
 
Families of desaparecidos continue to ask, “where is Jonas Burgos?” who was abducted while Año was head of Army intelligence ten years ago, under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Families of extrajudicial killings continue to cry for justice for the victims of the Paquibato massacre in 2014 under Noynoy
Aquino. Many indigenous people communities have been permanently rooted out of their ancestral lands in Mindanao from the time Año commanded the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army to encamp in their communities under the bloody counter-insurgency campaign Oplan Bayanihan.
 
 
What change has happened, only but a change of name from Oplan Bayanihan to Oplan Kapayapaan, with more than half of state forces continue wreaking havoc in communities in Mindanao? What change is there but more threats of rights violations by a police already engaged in a killing spree of persons under the guise of the war on drugs?
 
 
Gen. Año’s presence in the Duterte cabinet is a mockery of the victims’ cry for justice and accountability that has been denied to them for so long. What could be more appalling than putting a butcher in another agency that reeks of more human rights violations? It is the same agency that conducted hundreds of illegal arrests and unjust detention, making money from bounties and rewards, inflicting torture and harassment. What change is there, but more threats to the rights of the people?
 
 
The appointment of more military generals in Duterte’s cabinet like Año, Roy Cimatu in the DENR, Ricardo R. Visaya at NIA, to name a few, is an affront to the people’s demand for justice and genuine change. Putting butchers and human rights violators in cabinet positions goes against the peace efforts of the Duterte administration, and the much-needed reforms that the people fight for, like land distribution, an end to contractualization, among others.
 
 
We demand Pres. Duterte to rescind Gen. Año’s appointment. Instead of putting him in the Cabinet, Gen. Año should be made to answer to violations under his command. We call on the people to keep vigil and not allow more violations to human rights. ###
 
Reference:
Evangeline Hernandez, Hustisya chairperson, +63950-5415944
 

Hustisya National Office
2/F #1 Maaralin cor. Matatag Sts.
Central District, Diliman
Quezon City 1100 Philippines
 
Telephone: (02) 990-6595
E-mail: hustisya.national@gmail.com
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