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HUMAN rights group Karapatan on Sunday said the recent appointments of retired general Antonio P. Parlade, Jr. and former police chief Debold M. Sinas to key government posts will further worsen the culture of impunity in the country, noting that the two are currently facing legal complaints at the Office of the Ombudsman.
In a statement, Karapatan Secretary General Cristina E. Palabay said the appointments send a message that “those promoting the administration’s bloodlust will be rewarded with higher posts in the government.”
Mr. Sinas, now an undersecretary at the Office of the President, and Mr. Parlade, now part of the National Security Council, are still “facing complaints and allegations of human rights violations and war crimes,” Karapatan reiterated.
“Their appointments mean that President (Rodrigo R.) Duterte is not making them accountable for these acts,” it said.
Karapatan and other cause-oriented groups filed complaints last year against Mr. Parlade before the Ombudsman for red-tagging activists, citing potential violations of Republic Act No. 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity, and the Ombudsman Act of 1989.
Mr. Sinas led a bloody anti-communist operation called Oplan Sauron, which led to more killings in Negros in central Philippines, according to international group Human Rights Watch.
Karapatan said Mr. Sinas has presided over police raids leading to arbitrary arrests of activists in Negros and Manila.
Mr. Sinas is facing a complaint for violating health protocols last year.
“Their appointments should be strongly denounced by all freedom-loving Filipinos as we demand that they be held accountable for their crimes,” Ms. Palabay said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza