DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/06 March) – Amnesty International called on the Aquino government to solve the “increasing number of extra judicial killings” in the country after another member of the militant group Bayan Muna was killed in Baganga town, Davao Oriental last Monday.
Dr. Aurora Parong, executive director of AI Philippines said in a phone interview she was concerned over the string of human rights violations and killings under the present administration.
“We join the call in condemning the recent killing of Baganga community leader Christina Jose. She is an addition to the growing list of victims of extra judicial killings under the Aquino administration,” Parong said.
“This is another example of how impunity reigns in our country and how the government has been powerless in finding justice for its victims,” she added.
Jose was also a leader of Barug Katawhan, a group of typhoon Pablo victims from Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley that staged a barricade at the Department of Social Welfare and Development last week to protest the way government had been handling relief efforts.
She was killed five days after the barricade. Police have yet to name a suspect.
Parong urged for an immediate investigation of the incident, saying the “lack of convictions has encouraged more violence and extra judicial killings.”
Parong was referring to observations by foreign human rights monitors that the government appeared not keen on prosecuting human rights violators.
The AI director called on Inter-Agency Committee on Extrajudicial Killings and Human Rights Violations to investigate Jose’s death.
“We hope that Christina together the indigenous people’s leader of the Ati tribe in Boracay, Dexter Condez case will be included in the radar of the inter-agency superbody created to monitor investigations of human rights violations. Perhaps it is now the opportune time for the body to make its first report about its work after its creation last November by President Aquino,” she said.
Aquino formed the inter-agency committee last year apparently in response to unfavorable remarks about how government has handled human rights cases brought to its attention. Among its members are the Justice, Defense and Interior departments, Philippine National Police and the military. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)