Karapatan says Army chief’s third star is ‘medal of impunity’

Oct. 13, 2014

DAVAO CITY—Human rights group Karapatan on Monday branded as a “medal of impunity” the third star awarded to an Army general here who was implicated in the Morong 43 case.

“The Aquino government tolerates the notorious deeds of violators of human rights and international humanitarian laws,” said Hanimay Suazo, spokesperson of Karapatan in Southern Mindanao Region.

Major General Aurelio Baladad, commander of Eastern Mindanao Command, received his third star rank as Lieutenant General from AFP chief General Gregorio Pio Catapang together with eight other military officers last October 8, at Camp Aguinaldo.

Karapatan said the awarding of medal to Balabad was a “grave insult” to the health workers who suffered military brutality, an allegation denied by Balabad who was then the commander of the 202nd Infantry Battalion which arrested the 43 health workers in Morong, Rizal in 2010.

“It’s an insult to the victims of Morong 43 more so to all the victims of military’s human rights abuses. And this only confirms that the Aquino government is not serious in ending impunity,” Suazo said.

She added that “the Aquino government is no different from the Arroyo’s administration because military officials with notorious record of human rights violations were promoted.” (davaotoday.com)

comments powered by Disqus