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Karapatan on BS Aquino's SONA: Delusions, lies, crocodile tears - all signs of a beleaguered President

By KARAPATAN
July 29, 2014

QUEZON CITY – "The web of lies woven by BS Aquino during his SONA on the alleviation of poverty in the country, job creation, and immediate response to disasters reflects his disconnect with the real world. By all indications, the lives of the majority of Filipinos have deteriorated immensely under his watch. Shedding crocodile tears to gain the sympathy of the public is straight out of a poorly made script to save face amid rising people’s protests and three impeachment cases,” Cristina Palabay, secretary general of Karapatan said on BS Aquino’s SONA.

Karapatan also condemned the arrest of four activists during the SONA - Maria Luisa Garcia, 46, and Rosita Labarez, 57, of Controlled Economic Zone Federation; and Rodel, 33, and Rochel Ann Tortola, 12, of Migrante International, all resident of Bgy. Holy Spirit, Quezon City. A stun gun was used to immobilize Rodel and Rochel Ann Tortola, while they were inside a jeepney. All were released after intervention by Karapatan paralegals and lawyers from the National Union of People’s Lawyers.

"The repressive measures used against the protesters – the overkill presence of police and military, the layers of barriers and concertina wires and container vans, and the water cannon and stun guns are tell-tale signs of a beleaguered presidency. The layers of barricades literally and figuratively show the isolation of BS Aquino from the people," Palabay said.

"In just four years, Aquino has used up all of Cory’s magic," Palabay said. Aquino now faces three impeachment complaints for his presidential pork, the Disbursement Accelaration Program (DAP) and the signing of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the Obama Administration. "Caught with nothing to gain people's trust, BS Aquino resorted to emotional blackmail by again invoking the name of his parents," Palabay said.

"BS Aquino even had the gall to boast of the arrest of the Benito Tiamzon and Wilma Austria-Tiamzon when the arrest was a violation of the Joint Agreement on Security and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG) signed with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. The peace negotiation between GPH and the NDFP has been stalled despite billions of pesos poured into the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP)," Palabay said.

Karapatan has documented 204 victims of extrajudicial killings and 207 cases of frustrated killing committed under the Aquino regime. There are 99 victims of torture, 21 enforced disappearances and 504 political prisoners. "With Aquino’s desperation to stay in power and the full blast modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, more rights violations will be committed as its protector, the AFP, sow terror to silence opposition," she said.

"But the Filipino people will bow down. With pride and courage, we will continue fight to break the bankrupt system which the rich and the powerful, like BS Aquino, benefitted from at the expense of the Filipino people," Palabay ended.