Aquino’s macabre message an insult

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Philippine Daily Inquirer
February 7, 2014

Edre_Olalia_72Nothing personal, but does Lina Castillo Sarmiento “have a deep and thorough understanding and knowledge of human rights and involvement in efforts against human rights violations” committed during the Marcos regime? No such evidence on record. And such “deep and thorough understanding and knowledge of human rights and involvement in efforts against human rights violations” are mandated by law.

Does Sarmiento “have a clear and adequate understanding and commitment to human rights protection, promotion and advocacy?” Open to serious challenge.

And yet she will head the Human Rights Victims’ Claims Board? Why put a woman in uniform, who represents an institution that has historically played its indispensable role in violating human rights, at the helm of a body on human rights? What sort of macabre message is this?

As a Philippine National Police “human rights officer,” she played into the part of the apologist mechanism during the Arroyo administration’s killing spree and the nightmare of disappearances that claimed scores of civilians as victims. Does this record inspire trust and confidence?

And President Aquino had to take a year before he could finally decide to openly dishonor, insult and scoff at the memory and sacrifice of those who raged against the dying of the light.

Incredible callousness on top of signature indolence.

Save maybe for some on the board who may be sincere, those that were at the forefront in the battle against the fascist dictatorship and incorrigible kleptocracy were obviously shut out from any representation by this son of perceived icons of democracy.

Where does the  heart of this government lie? Or is it April Fools’ Day?

—EDRE U. OLALIA,
Secretary General,
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers,
Maaralin corner Matatag Streets Central District, Quezon City
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