Human rights violations in Mindanao worse since Pnoy says human rights group

Sep. 19, 2014

DAVAO CITY — Militant human rights organizations have claimed that violations of civilian rights continue to happen in Mindanao that would indicate that President Benigno Aquino III did not live up to his promises of a “tuwid na daan (straight path)”.

Rather, Marie Hilao-Enriquez, national chairperson of the human rights group Karapatan, said that his administration has worsened it with the application of a new counterinsurgency operation plan Bayanihan.

As of 2010, she said Karapatan recorded 204 extrajudicial killings nationwide and 73 of them happened in Mindanao. Of 21 enforced disappearances nationwide, six happened in Mindanao.

“Victims from the indigenous people’s have been increasing especially those that have been driven out because of mining and logging interests,” she said.

Karapatan Southern Mindanao spokesperson Hanimay Suazo said the Davao Region has been swarmed with 29 army battalions which she described as militarized and blamed for the 33 extrajudicial killings and 36 illegal arrests of “activists, human rights defenders, workers, peasants and indigenous peoples”.

Karapatan and other Mindanao-based groups involved in the monitor and protection of human rights gathered today to conduct a three-day human rights conference.

Dubbed as the Mindanao Human Rights and Peace Conference, the activity would “address and register their resistance to the further intensification of human rights abuses directed against the people of Mindanao”.

Sr. Noemi Degala, executive secretary of the Sisters Association in Mindanao said the event wants “to gather the cases of human rights violations in Mindanao and to strengthen the response of advocates on attacks against human rights.”

“No one is excluded but this should not stop the people from fighting for their rights. We as advocates are also targeted but we chose to journey with the people,” said Degala. (

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