(BRUSSELS, Belgium) President Benigno S. Aquino
III on Tuesday assured the international community that the
Philippine government is addressing human rights complaints and is
ready to apply the full force of the law against those who are found
guilty of abuses and extra-judicial killings.
President Aquino told the Egmont Institute where he delivered a
policy speech that his administration has taken steps to uphold
human rights in the country and bring to the bar of justice the
“We have instituted a task force whose primary mission is to take
cognizance of all of these extrajudicial killings or alleged
extrajudicial killings with the end in view of arresting every
culprit regardless of whether it was a media individual, an
activist, or any other individual,” the President said.
“Bottom line is, you commit a crime in our country, there has to be
certainty of punishment and that is the focus,” he added, when asked
about the state of human rights in the Philippines during the forum.
The President also stressed that it is not in the policy of the
Aquino administration to encourage any transgressions of the law.
“And towards that end, we have been investigating all of these
allegations,” he said.
One of these is the case of retired Major General Jovito Palparan,
who was arrested on August 12 in Sta. Mesa, Manila, by the
authorities after almost three years in hiding, he said. He is
facing charges for the disappearance of two students of the
University of the Philippines in 2006. PND (co)
(full story - 09.18.14)