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Minorities protest rights violations

Joe Torres, Manila

August 22, 2012

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About 150 people representing the Philippines many ethnic groups marched to the presidential palace in Manila today to protest alleged rights violations to mark International Indigenous Peoples Day. Protesters dragged an effigy of President Benigno Aquino driving a tank to “symbolize the scourge on indigenous peoples,” said Piva Macliing Malayao of the National Alliance of Indigenous Peoples’ Organizations in the Philippines (KAMP). Minority human rights had worsened under the present administration, she added, citing KAMP statistics showing 16 indigenous victims of extrajudicial killings since Aquino took office two years ago. Loretta Rosales, the head of the government’s Commission on Human Rights, acknowledged her office had received allegations of killings, torture, enforced disappearances and harassment since 2010.
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