Several organizations in Bacolod City yesterday called on President Benigno Aquino III to release political prisoners and be serious in pursuing peace negotiations as part of the commemoration of the 64th anniversary of the International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.
At a press conference at the Negros Press Club building in Bacolod City, yesterday, Fr. Romeo Tagud of the Promotion of Church People’s Response said peace negotiations and ceasefire should be done not only during Christmas but must be long term.
He said there are about 401 political prisoners in the country and 10 of them are in Negros Occidental but since Aquino assumed office, none of these prisoners have been released as promised.
Christian Tuayon, Bayan-Negros secretary general, said they will commemorate the 64th IHRD with province-wide protests bringing the social and economic issues faced by the people.
He said human rights violation is rampant in Negros Occidental and fabricated charges have been filed against many progressive leaders. He also said that violations are also committed in the work place like unfair labor practice and demolition of houses and dislocation of livelihood of the poor.
Fred Caña, Karapan-Negros secretary general, said there is impunity in the government system because human rights abuses are tolerated by people who work for it, thus, so there is nothing to celebrate on Dec. 10 for them.
Members of Bayan, Karapatan, PCPR and other organizations from south and north Negros will converge at the Bacolod City Public Plaza to hold a rally, he said. They expect speakers from Manila, he added. *LTG