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Philippines

Human rights should dominate elections, say activists

Aquino's regime sees rise in extrajudicial killings

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

Published: February 11, 2013 06:39 AM GMT

Updated: February 10, 2013 08:34 PM GMT

Human rights should dominate elections, say activists
Fr Fausto "Pops" Tentorio, whose murder sparked vigils and protests but remains unsolved, was one of many who have been killed during the Aquino regime (photo: Ciriaco Santiago III)

A national rights group on Monday urged candidates in the country’s upcoming election to make human rights the chief issue of their political campaigns. It has also claimed that abuses are on the rise under President Benigno Aquino.

Karapatan said the government has largely failed to curb political violence, and that should be the keynote of the next polls, scheduled for May this year.

“Candidates should speak on the Aquino government’s human rights record so the voting public would know where they stand,” said Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan.

She added that a majority of candidates come from rich political clans who have been “directly or indirectly” involved in human rights violations.

“Candidates should first and foremost speak out about the Aquino government’s counterinsurgency program, Oplan Bayanihan, which has resulted in gross abuses and human rights violations,” she said.

Some 137 incidents of extrajudicial killings, including the murder of Italian missionary Fausto “Pops” Tentorio, have occurred under the program, according to Karapatan, along with 154 cases of attempted murder as of December last year.

 

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