07 December 2016
Reference: ACT Teachers Party-List Rep. Antonio Tinio (0920-922-0817) and Rep. France Castro (0920-969-8457)
ACT Teachers Party-List Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro scored the naming of Lieutenant General Eduardo Año as chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), saying that President Duterte should take a second look at Año’s long record of human rights violations and reconsider the appointment.
“The Army under Año’s command was responsible for various human rights violations, including the Paquibato massacre in June 2014 which killed three indigenous peoples (IPs) and the pouring in of battalions in Mindanao which caused widespread displacement of IPs,” said Tinio. “When he signed Año’s appointment papers, the President might as well have signed the death warrant for the search for justice and accountability for these human rights violations.”
Año is also linked to the enforced disappearance of farmer-activist Jonas Burgos who was taken by armed men under his command, among them then-Army Lt. Harry Baliaga.
“Año’s appointment implies that human rights violators and those who allow them are rewarded with higher ranks rather than jail time. His appointment is a huge mockery to human rights, which is unfortunate since we would be celebrating the International Human Rights Day in a few days,” said Castro. “Appointing Año as AFP chief is to pardon grave human rights violations. It is a slap on the face of victims their families and supporters whose outcries for justice remain unanswered.”
“We urge President Duterte to reconsider this appointment and to reassess his recent decisions involving the military and their implications. The government should uphold, protect and defend the fundamental human rights of Filipinos, especially the marginalized and oppressed,” the solons ended. ###