AFP Press Release
JEERS to Malaya for the report “AFP officials to attend DOJ probe on missing UP students,” which sounded like apress release from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). Only military sources were quoted throughout the report. Complainants Erlinda Cadapan and Concepcion Empeño, mothers of disappeared University of the Philippines (UP) students Sherlyn and Karen, respectively, were not asked to respond to the military’s allegations against the missing UP students.
The reporter whose byline appeared in that report should have known that the accusation that the victims were communists has been used to justify extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations. The claim that Sherlyn and Karen were “communist New People’s Army rebels”— retired General Jovito Palparan’s description—was not challenged. Neither was it pointed out that even if that were indeed true, it did not justify their abduction, torture and possible extra judicial killing—as stated in the provisions in the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHIHL).