By Brian Campbell, International Labor Rights Forum
Washington, DC -- "The Aquino government had done nothing new. The human rights situation is the same. The killings, abductions and tortures continue and justice has not been rendered. Carnage is still the flavor of the day and the climate of impunity has not waned. The US government should cease to extend whatever aid, partnership and support to a government that has not stopped to intimidate and harass its own people. It is also to the benefit of the American public to look into the Obama administration's expansion of its military footprint in the Philippines and Asia."
This was the message of a delegation of Filipino human rights advocates from the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Watch to staff of US Senate and House Committees on foreign affairs and the Department of State as they visited the US capital the last week of March. The delegation included Angelina Bisuña Ipong, a former political detainee, Bishop Reuel Marigza, Secretary General of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), and Bishop Felixberto Calang of the Philippine Independent Church.
Human Rights Violations Are Still Pervasive in the Philippines
Ipong, who was the oldest woman political prisoner in the Philippines, was arrested on March 2005 but was just released on February 2011. She is the living proof of the onslaught against human rights in the Philippines. Angie is now working with an organization of former political detainees; she has learned that her ordeal was so much the same with everyone. Presently, there are still more than 350 political detainees languishing in jails all over the Philippines.