‘Gov’t not doing enough to punish rights abusers’ | Global News
Close  

‘Gov’t not doing enough to punish rights abusers’

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 01:53 AM July 01, 2012

Jovito Palparan Jr. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A New York-based human rights watchdog on Saturday said Philippine government efforts at prosecuting human rights violators were not enough, with most cases failing to reach the trial stage.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that while the conviction of human rights abusers depended on the courts, the lack of successful prosecutions “highlights broader problems that rest with the administration.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Elaine Pearson, deputy director for HRW’s Asia Division, observed that the police still failed to follow up and arrest suspects, and the military continued to “obstruct” investigations.

“Even in the case against retired Army Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, where we praised the administration for bringing charges, not enough is being done to bring him to custody so that he can receive a fair trial,” Pearson said.

FEATURED STORIES

The fugitive retired general had been charged with the 2006 abduction and illegal detention of students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan.

HRW earlier said that President Aquino had failed to prosecute a single case of extrajudicial killing and enforced disappearance in his two years in office.

This was disputed by deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, who said the administration had initiated the filing of cases against suspects but had no say over their conviction. In Palparan’s case, she said, charges have been filed and a massive manhunt has been launched for him.

Addressing ‘barriers’

“Conviction isn’t part of the executive branch’s job,” she said.

Pearson said the President could do a lot more to “systematically address” the barriers to successful prosecutions.

ADVERTISEMENT

For starters, she said, Mr. Aquino should order the National Bureau of Investigation to probe police and military personnel implicated in killings. He should order the police to redouble efforts to investigate abuses involving government officials, she added.

The President should also order the military to cooperate with civilian authorities investigating military abuses, or face sanctions, she said. Additionally, he should take immediate steps to ensure that the witness protection program is independent, accessible and properly funded, she said.

“As President Aquino himself pointed out, fair trials that result in the conviction of those implicated in abuses is the true test of his commitment to his promise,” Pearson said.

Subscribe to our global nation newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Elaine Pearson, human rights abusers, human rights violators, Human Rights Watch, human rights watchdog
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our global news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.