Rights Group Foretells Greater IP HRV’s with AFP Officer’s Reassignment

THREAT Col. Harold Cabunoc, formerly of the AFP Public Affairs Office, will reportedly be focusing on IP's in Davao in his new role. Human rights groups can only brace for a spike in atrocities perpetrated by the military. (Photo by UNTV News, caption by Laz Olalo, Karapatan-SMR)
THREAT Col. Harold Cabunoc, formerly of the AFP Public Affairs Office, will reportedly be focusing on IP’s in Davao in his new role. Human rights groups can only brace for a spike in atrocities perpetrated by the military. (Photo by UNTV News, caption by Laz Olalo, Karapatan-SMR)

DAVAO CITY- Karapatan-SMR expressed its fears regarding the recent news of Col. Harold Cabunoc’s reassignment to IP-military projects in Davao, saying that such action will only intensify the war of the AFP against lumad communities.

Hanimay Suazo, secretary-general of Karapatan-SMR, said that Cabunoc’s “anti-social attitude and narrow-minded opinion” endangers “the already maligned and marginalized lumads, who’ve already had more than enough of the AFP in the recent months”.

“No greater manifestation that the AFP is truly targeting lumads in the region than the special focus Cabunoc will give in his new position, which is geared towards undermining the legitimacy of the pleas of our IP brothers and sisters. His reassignment is like rubbing salt to the wounds of human rights violations the AFP has committed against the lumads.”

“Cabunoc’s actions as chief of the AFP PAO already showed his gung-ho nature and verbal trigger-happy tendencies. It was him who tainted further the image of the AFP when he publicly aired his misinformed opinions on state issues, earning the ire of simple citizens and media personalities,” Suazo added.

It can be remembered that Cabunoc had a twitter war with veteran journalist Cheche Lazaro regarding the actions of the foreign partner of slain transgender Jennifer Laude.

Recently, Cabunoc had another skirmish with a journalist in twitter, this time about the plight of the 700 lumad evacuees housed in UCCP Haran.

Suazo deplored Cabunoc’s reasoning regarding the situation of the evacuees.

“Cabunoc’s statements regarding social issues are irresponsible, if not inappropriate and lacking concrete analysis,” Suazo added.

Suazo claims that Cabunoc’s “irresponsible handling of his job when he was in the PAO” posed great dangers, one that human rights groups should be wary of.

“The ignorance of a man in public office is more dangerous than the barrel of a gun in the forests. That much we should acknowledge,” Suazo said.

AUGUST 11, 2015
PRESS RELEASE
KARAPATAN-SOUTHERN MINDANAO REGION
CONTACT PERSON: HANIMAY SUAZO
0932-198-6728

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