Aquino reviving ‘dirty war’ versus youth critics of government

by ANAKBAYAN on April 14, 2012 10:30 am. Click here to go to original post.

The recent spate of human rights violations against youth and student activists has alarmed a national youth group, saying that the violations are part of the Aquino administration’s drive to clamp down on the intensifying criticism and disillusionment against it.

According to the youth group Anakbayan, 22 youths and students have fallen victim to various human rights violations at the hands of military personnel in the first 14 weeks of the year. The most recent three are all members of the said organization: Christian Tuayon, chairperson of Anakbayan’s chapter in Negros, was arrested last April 3 after trumped-up charges of robbery were filed against him by the military.

Cleve Arguelles and Nikki Gamara, both students of the University of the Philippines Manila, were subjected to surveillance and harassment by suspected military agents on April 2 and 3. Gamara is the daughter of Reynante Gamara, a Bayan Muna campaigner and urban poor-workers’ organizer, who was arrested on the same day as Tuayon.

“The military cannot deny its hand behind these attacks and harassments. As I learnt from my personal experience, the AFP has a ‘With Us or Against Us’ mindset. Anyone critical of the government and the status quo are immediately viewed as ‘subversives’ or ‘enemies of the state’” said Anton Dulce, national vice chairperson of Anakbayan, himself a victim of military abuse.

The youth leader is a member of the ‘Porac 3’: three students of the University of the Philippines Diliman who were verbally and physically abused by the military while the former were conducting their course’s practicum at an Aeta community in Porac, Pampanga.

“But more importantly, even the government’s courts have linked the military with human rights violations, as in the case of retired general Jovito Palparan” he said.

The Army officer was charged last December by the Court of Appeals with the abduction and enforced disappearance of UP students Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan last June 2006 in Hagonoy, Bulacan. He has also been accused with hundreds of other cases of extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances in Mindoro, Samar, and the entire Central Luzon region.

“The attacks are all part of the Aquino administration’s plan to halt the rising tide of disgust of the Filipino people against it. The military is hoping that it can silence one of the more critical, vocal, and active sectors of our society” said Dulce.

Youth and student groups such as Anakbayan have been at the forefront of protests against various programs and policies of the Aquino administration. They led the ‘student strikes’ against budget cuts to education and other social services in 2010 and 2011, the first-ever large-scale protests under the reign of President Benigno Simeon ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III. Recently, members of Anakbayan invented ‘Noynoying’, a form of protest which depicted Aquino’s inaction on important national concerns, and one which quickly became popular worldwide.

Kaugnay na artikulo:

Two UP students harassed during Holy Week


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