Miltary on human rights record: ‘it’s an old issue’

By , on December 23, 2014

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MANILA – Earlier reports on the alleged $13 million loss of the Armed Forces because of failing to improve its human rights record is an “old issue” addressed a long time ago, according to the military yesterday.

Armed Forces spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla said that the issue reported by the North Carolina-based human rights watchdog Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines (EANP) is a rehash of a problem that what has long been addressed.

He also clarified that they were not aware of the aid that were put on hold because of the said issues.

“We are also not aware of any aid that has been put on hold,” he said.

Padilla also added that the alliance between the US and the Philippines is a commitment of both the countries’ vow to help each other in the improvement of their security capabilities.

“The Philippines and US defense and military alliance remains strong, with the US affirming its commitment to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines in its capability development the way the AFP may desire to and in a manner consistent with US laws,” he said.

“The alliance also remains relevant and cooperation between the two countries has never been this good.”

He also revealed that the military is already advancing its measures to successfully promote the human rights advocacy among its ranks.

“The AFP is among the best in the world that has adopted within its professional military training and education system a consistent and responsive human rights awareness and training regimen,” he said.

Meanwhile, when it comes to ending impunity in the country, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) spokesman Marc Titus Cebreros said the country has been improving under President Aquino’s administration.

He, however added that the government has to exert more efforts in ending impunity in the country.

“However, the government must do more in terms of ending impunity,” he said.

“We hope that this development would further convince the administration of President Aquino, along with the security sector, of the need to invest more time and resources on concrete human rights deliverables,” he said.