Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Government's weak adherence to human rights reinforces warlords' culture of impunity - labor group

23 November 2010

Justice won't come easy for the victims of Maguindanao massacre as long as warlordism and violations of human rights remain rampant in this country, according to labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM). The group joined the November 23 Movement in today’s commemoration of the Maguindanao massacre held in Mendiola.

PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda said the culture of impunity attached to warlordism is reinforced further by the government's weak adherence to human rights, or worse by its complicity to the crime as shown in the Maguindanao case.

"The long and protracted prosecution of the main suspects in the massacre is no doubt painful for the victims with the expected delay in the rendering of justice. But the most agonizing part of it as far as the whole nation is concerned is when we see the apparent failure of the government to curb the warlordism common in many places, notwithstanding the fact that human rights are continuously being violated in our country," said Miranda.

The labor group pointed out that as long as private armed groups identified with known warlords and politicians all over the country are not neutralized then the sacrifice of the lives of 58 victims, many of them journalists, was for nothing.

"The best that the Aquino government can do on this case is to ensure the victims that justice would come soon and the country feel the guarantee that human rights are well protected under this administration," added Miranda.

State sanctioned labor rights violation, the group said, is a vivid example of how culture of impunity is reinforced.

"A backhoe was used to bury the victims of the Maguindanao massacre while a Baldozer was utilized in the massacre of regular jobs at PAL. If the government tolerates contractualization as a valid management prerogative, then employers are further emboldened to use the scheme to exploit workers as shown in the case of PAL and many other companies," concluded Miranda.

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