TheNational Union of Peoples’ Lawyers ( NUPL), strongly condemns the malicious inclusion of Prudencio Calubid, Leo Velasco and other missing political activists by the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines in the list of the persons who may obtain amnesty under Presidential Proclamation No. 75.
It may well be remembered that Prudencio Calubid, a publicly-acknowledged consultant of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), was abducted together with his wife, and other companions by military agents and operatives sometime in 26 June 2006 in Southern Luzon, Philippines.Leo Velasco, also an NDF consultant, was likewise abducted by military agents on 19 February 2007. They have been missing hence and are among the hundreds of victims of the documented cases of enforced disappearances under the Arroyo and the present Aquino regimes.
Calubid’s abduction and disappearance gained publicity at that time and in fact his family filed a habeas corpus case before the Supreme Court in 2006 to compel the military to bring him to court. The case was eventually dismissed after the court accepted the general denial of the military respondents over the evidence offered to support the petition.
His inclusion in the list, as well as other political activists who remain disappeared, while characterized with subtlety, is a vicious and malicious whitewash of the role of state security forces in his abduction and disappearance. The list has the effect of saying that his disappearance and abduction by the military is false and that the latter is not at all responsible.
The action, even if borne by sheer ignorance of running the government, betrays the apathy by which the government treats human rights, their violations, and the prosecution of violators.
Already, theNUPL is alarmed by the manner and rate by which extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations continue to happen in the country under a climate of impunity and fear even under the present regime which vowed at the outset to be different from the previous one.
The government, and in particular the executive department headed by Pres. Aquino, should at once stop this whitewash and its attitude of apathy towards human rights and instead pursue the path of justice for the victims of enforced disappearances as well as other human rights
The NUPL itself commits that it will actively prosecute the human rights violations committed by the state security forces under the government’s counter-insurgency program.
The NUPL is a national association of hundreds of peoples’ lawyers, law students and paralegals and is committed for the protection and promotion of human rights in the country. It provides legal services to victims of human rights violations and prosecutes the perpetrators.#