Published by rudy Date posted on December 31, 2008

by Honesto General
from Philippine Daily Inquirer

On Dec. 10, in observance of the 60th year of the of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the group Karapatan, at a news briefing in a Quezon City restaurant, presented a 32-page 2008 Human Rights Report, which was featured by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in a front-page story.

Human rights — i.e., freedom from unlawful arrest, imprisonment, torture or execution — are regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons.

What is Karapatan? At the suggestion of Inquirer Research, I visited Karapatan’s website . I downloaded 12 pages of stuff. But after reading them — twice, mind you — Karapatan impressed me as a shadowy organization.

Karapatan claims to be an “Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights.” But the website did not include the name of even one member of the alliance. And yet, Karapatan claims to be “the biggest human rights network in the Philippines today.”

Only the name of the secretary general, Marie Hilao-Enriquez, appears on the website. What is this I hear, that at the top of Karapatan’s table of organization is the wife of a well-known communist?

Are Karapatan’s articles and bylaws registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission? When was the last elections held to select the governing body? Or, have the officials been elected for life?

In the insurance industry there are associations of insurers and reinsurers, broker and agents, adjusters and surveyors. But everything is transparent. Each association has its articles and bylaws available for scrutiny by the Insurance Commission. Meetings are held regularly. Annual elections are held, sometimes hotly contested.

Karapatan can be virulent. Listen to this: “The Arroyo government has not lived up to the promise of respecting the dignity and fulfilling the human rights of Filipinos, as we have not been any better over the last eight years … and the government has instead unleashed the brutality of the armed forces against the very people whose lives it has sworn to protect.” I have my complaints against the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration and the Armed Forces, but this is too much.

Karapatan lashes out at everyone and everything in sight. This is the classic tactics of communists.

How much of the statistics Karapatan foists on us is verifiable? In a decades-long war against the communist New Peoples Army, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Abu Sayyaf, there are bound to be human rights violations. But nothing compared to the slaughter of 250,000 communists in Indonesia during Suharto’s reign.

Karapatan seems to be well funded. Where does it get its money? Is it taxable, and, if so, are taxes being paid?

Is this one more proof that the Communist Party is the richest in the country?

With editing by INQUIRER.net

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