Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano assailed Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez’s dismissal of the recent report of United Nation’s special rapporteur Philip Alston.
Gonzalez told reporters in Malacañang to “just ignore” the recent report of Alston on the Arroyo administration’s failure to institute reforms to address the extrajudicial killings in the country.
“To ignore Alston and his consistent and accurate report is tantamount to a go signal for state security forces to continue pulling the trigger against activists, abductions, and filing of trumped up charges against activists,” Mariano said.
“It sounds like, ‘ignore the cries for justice of University of the Philippines students Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, activist-agriculturist Jonas Burgos, and detained peasant leader Randall Echanis,’” he added.
Cadapan and Empeño were abducted in June 2006 while Burgos has been missing since April 2007. Echanis has been imprisoned for more than two years for charges of murder.
Mariano said that “Gonzalez’s statement is unbecoming of a justice secretary” adding that “no remark from any government official can better show the complicity of this government in the extra-judicial killings than Gonzalez’s arrogant statement about ignoring the Alston Report.”
“It’s like rubbing salt to the wounds inflicted by the Arroyo government to the victims of human rights violations. The victims of extrajudicial killings cannot expect to achieve justice from Gonzalez,” said Mariano.
The Anakpawis lawmaker reiterated calls on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to junk the counter-insurgency program Oplan Bantay Laya and to abolish the Inter-Agency Legal Action Group (IALAG) which he deemed as being the main instrument in filing trumped-up charges against activists.
These twin fascist schemes have contributed to the perpetuation of the climate of impunity in the extra-judicial killings, abductions, and other forms of human rights violations in the country,” Mariano said.