“What business does a notorious human rights violator, the chief butcher of Arroyo, have speaking on human rights and to the UNHRC no less?” said Fidel Agcaoili, head of the Human Rights Monitoring Committee of the NDFP, in reaction to the appointment of Eduardo Ermita as head of the government delegation to the United Human Rights Council for the Universal Periodic Review of the Philippines in April.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Vol. VIII, No. 9, April 6-12, 2008
“What business does a notorious human rights violator, the chief butcher of Arroyo, have speaking on human rights and to the UNHRC no less?”
Fidel Agcaoili, Chairperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Human Rights Monitoring Committee, could not help but ask, after Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced the appointment of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita as head of the government’s 44-man delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Phillippines, which is set on April 11.
“His upcoming report to the UNHRC can only consist of lies regarding how the killings have stopped through the government’s supposed efforts. The fact is that the Arroyo regime has temporarily reduced the killings because of the people’s outrage all over the world. It is clear that no military, police officer or killer asset of the regime has been convicted for any of the killings,” Agcaoili said in a statement given to the media April 5.
Agcaoili said Ermita’s record as the pointguard of the U.S. and the GRP’s mastermind in orchestrating the gross and systematic campaign of human rights violations and political repression is a vicious insult and attack against the victims of human rights violations and their families.
“Ermita’s appointment as delegation head speaks volumes about the Arroyo government’s contempt for the Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights Council as well as its desperation in trying to cover-up its bloody human rights record,” said the NDF rights committee head.
Agcaoili called Ermita a “rascal” for being a notorious human rights violator and a psy-war expert. “The government intends to bamboozle the UNHRC utilizing Ermita’s notorious psywar expertise, and all efforts must be made to expose this,” he said.
Agcaoili pointed out that being the chairman of the Anti-Terrorist Council of the Macapagal-Arroyo regime, Ermita stands only next to the bogus president as the one most responsible for implementing Oplan Bantay Laya I and II.
Ermita is also chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Committee which has done nothing but whitewash the atrocities of the regime. He heads the Internal Security Cluster of the Cabinet, and is the head of the Presidential Anti-Terrorism Task Force.
“His past is as checkered as his current career,” Agcaoili said pointing out that Ermita was with the Philippine Civic Action Group in Vietnam from 1965-68, coordinating with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in implementing Operation Phoenix.
Operation Phoenix was a bloody campaign implemented by the U.S and the South Vietnamese government from 1965-72. It was directed at demolishing the political infrastructure of the Vietcong by “neutralizing” suspected Vietcong cadres. This resulted in tens of thousands of assassinations of suspected VC cadres. William Colby, the head of the CIA station in Saigon then, admitted in 1973 that 20,587 Vietnamese were killed as a result of Operation Phoenix.
The president’s executive secretary was also head of civil-military relations during the time of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos and became deputy Chief of Staff for Operations of the AFP during the Aquino regime.
Agcaoili, a political detainee during martial law, said this was a period when lawyers and congressional candidates of Partido ng Bayan were assassinated in the same pattern as the extrajudicial killings are being carried out today. Ermita, Agcaoili said, is the original organizer of hooded motorcycle-riding murderers who victimize legal activists.
Agcaoili said Ermita’s appointment as delegation head exposes the cruel and callous character of the Arroyo regime. “This is a grave insult and attack against the victims and their families. Ermita’s mission to the UPR is clear: as head butcher of the Arroyo regime, he will deny the regime’s command responsibility and misdirect criminal culpability for the extrajudicial killings and lobby for the Philippines’ continued inclusion in the UNCHR. His appointment as head of the GRP delegation to the UPR makes a complete mockery of the process of the review,” he said. (Bulatlat.com)