A LEGACY OF IMPUNITY AND INJUSTICE
Ilocos Human Rights Alliance (IHRA-KARAPATAN) condemns in strongest possible terms the murder of Laoag City radio commentator Joselito Agustin, barely twenty four (24) hours after the death of another journalist in Davao Oriental. We extend our condolences and deepest sympathy to his family languishing from the loss of a loved one.
IHRA is alarmed by the spate of killings and other gross human rights violations on the remaining days of fascist Arroyo government in power.
Agustin, a radio commentator for the DZJC Aksyon Radio, was on his way home last June 16 when he was shot by unidentified gunmen. He was said to be critical on issues such as graft and corruption. Prior to Agustin’s killing, a journalist from Davao and political activists from Mindanao and Negros were killed. Agustin is the third broadcaster killed in Ilocos Norte for the past six years and 106th killed under the Arroyo regime.
The culture of impunity evident in the Arroyo administration is indeed a legacy the people would not forget. GMA’s Oplan Bantay Laya which targeted civilians and communities claimed the lives of more than a thousand individuals, including political activists and journalists. And truly, this government continues to cover up its crimes to the people and perpetrate injustice for the past nine years of its rule.
We challenge the upcoming Aquino administration to end the culture of impunity, scrap Arroyo’s Oplan Bantay Laya and serve justice to all victims.
Aquino should be true to enough to his promises and therefore should make a bold move to stop the killings, disappearances and other gross human rights violations and should prosecute, convict and jail the criminals accountable on their crimes against the people, including the outgoing administration guilty of human rights abuses.
As fundamental to a government claiming to be in democracy, the forthcoming administration should address the issues of human rights and civil liberties, otherwise his flowery promises during the elections would be judged by history, like his predecessor.
The people, on the other hand, would remain watchful and vigilant until justice would be served to Agustin and all victimized under a murderous, deceitful and corrupt regime. rodtajon