Militant group tags Canete as AFP spokesperson

THE regional office of Karapatan Human Rights Alliance tagged Special Investigator Jesus Canete of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) as the spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Negros Oriental.

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Vimarie Arcilla, information officer of Karapatan-Central Visayas, issued the statement after Canete “cleared” AFP members deployed in Linantuyan village in Guihulngan for their alleged involvement in any form of human rights violations.

Canete earlier went to the Linantuyan village upon orders of CHR Regional Director Alejandro Alonso when they heard reports of violations from broadcast stations and print outlets on the alleged arson, rape and other forms of harassments committed by members of the 11th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in the countryside of Guihulngan.

“We believe he (Canete) should first should do real investigation, instead of just parroting out what Lieutenant Colonel Nemesio Gacal says,” Arcilla said.

She said what Canete claimed as one-man investigation was actually a platoon-sized charade directed by 11th Infantry Battalion soldiers who herded residents in a “pulong-pulong” with him.

“In this light we ask: When did Jesus Canete become the mouthpiece of the Armed Forces of the Philippines?” the Karapatan official said.

According to her, Canete has no capacity to delve into the human rights violations since he is not “even wise enough to ask and investigate both sides of the story.

“Canete didn’t even bother to ask and investigate Lourdes Baloy, the victim of the malicious vilification campaign by the AFP,” she said, adding that Canete only reiterated worn-out lines of the AFP maligning legitimate organizations such as Karapatan.

“How should one investigate? Why Canete didn’t consider the background of the four peasants prior to the execution of the affidavits? Perhaps, it would interest him to know how the peasants end up in the detachments. Or does he really believe that the peasants have a choice to turn down a summon or ‘invitation’ from the military. If he does not think that ‘mere invitation from police and military already constitute an arrest,’ then he should review his Constitution,” said Arcilla. (SunStarDumaguete)

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