Posted by: kawagib | January 30, 2008

No to term Extension of Gen. Esperon!

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon’s term extension would lead to the increase of human rights violations.

Kawagib Moro Human Rights Organization said that President Macapagal-Arroyo’s decision in extending the term of Gen. Esperon will worsen human rights situation in the country.

Kawagib said President Arroyo and Esperon have been “partners in crime” in promoting human rights violations as they have been implementing total war policy to end insurgency and terrorism in the country in which civilians have become targets during the military operations especially in Moro communities.

During the intensive military crackdown in Basilan in 2001, General Esperon was then the commander of the 103rd brigade in TAbiawan, Isabela City which was known to have illegally arrested and detained Moro civilians by implementing saturation drives and setting up checkpoints in the Isabela City.

Under Gen. Esperon’s command, the Commission on Human Rights slapped the 103rd Brigade of 32 cases of illegal detention and torture of Basilan residents.  Victims have related that for three days that they were detained inside the Tabiawan Brigade, they were tortured into confessing and sign papers that they were involved with the Abu Sayyaf.

In the implementation of Oplan Bantay Laya, Esperon’s term is by far one of the bloodiest, and has been known to shun the report of UN Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killing Prof Philippine Alston accusing the military under Esperon’s command as the agents responsible for the deaths and abduction of more than 800 activists in the country.

We cannot help but suspect that Arroyo’s approval of Esperon’s term extension is an assurance that Arroyo will remain in power, since the latter was accused for being partisan in the 2004 elections.

The term extension and the alarming statement of Esperon that his last months in office could lead to a bloody fight against insurgents, would also mean that he will continue to disregard the sentiments of the victims and the increase in the number of czses of human rights violations.

Kawagib urged Pres. Arroyo to listen to the sentiments of the people opposing the extension of term of Gen. Esperon and must look into the complaints of the victims.

Kawagib calls for the ouster of Gen. Esperon and justice to the victims of human rights violations.

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