Arroyo is lying about European, UN probe into killings

FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee

Gloria M. Arroyo is lying through her teeth by saying during her 13 September Brussels visit that her government “needs more time” to observe how the International Criminal Court (ICC) works before committing herself to the Rome Statute. She is also fooling European Commission President Jose Barroso and other European leaders by inviting the EC, Human Rights Council and other international organizations to see for themselves the state of extra-judicial killings, abductions, disappearances and other human rights violations and to prove that neither she nor her security forces has anything to do with these.

FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee

Gloria M. Arroyo is lying through her teeth by saying during her 13 September Brussels visit that her government “needs more time” to observe how the International Criminal Court (ICC) works before committing herself to the Rome Statute. She is also fooling European Commission President Jose Barroso and other European leaders by inviting the EC, Human Rights Council and other international organizations to see for themselves the state of extra-judicial killings, abductions, disappearances and other human rights violations and to prove that neither she nor her security forces has anything to do with these.

In truth, there are two reasons why the GRP’s illegitimate president has refused to send the ICC Treaty, which had already been signed by another Philippine president in 2000, to the Philippine Senate for ratification: First, she is afraid that by endorsing the treaty for ratification she will lose the political support and military aid of the US government and that losing such strategic support will only precipitate her downfall from the presidency. What keeps the discredited Arroyo regime alive amid widespread calls for its ouster is precisely US support and the GRP’s conspiracy with the US in mounting a bloody total war against the revolutionary movement and the legal mass movement which actually throw lethal blows against unarmed political activists.

Second, she dreads the day after the Rome Statute is ratified when she would be arrested and hailed to the International Criminal Court to face charges of crimes against humanity. So far, she has saved herself, her security advisers and generals from responsibility in the killings by blaming the NPA and the victims themselves for the killings and intimidating witnesses in complicity with military, police and justice investigators.

Arroyo is one president who believes that nobody can discern lies in her declarations. In fact her government, through its Department of Foreign Affairs, has refused for over the past two months the visit requests of five UN Rapporteurs from the UNHRC for the purpose of investigating the spate of killings and disappearances in the Philippines. The GRP has also sat down on the urgent NDFP proposal for a joint GRP-NDFP investigation of the extra-judicial executions and other atrocities to be observed by the Norwegian government and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The presidential Melo Commission, which Arroyo brags, after growing international pressure, as her initiative to probe into the killings has no credibility most especially among the families of the victims and is only intended to pre-empt the investigation by international human rights institutions. In fact, on the very day Arroyo was duping her European hosts in Brussels about the presidential probe her own death squads mowed down the municipal coordinator of the Anakpawis party-list group, Ranbert “Alvin” Placencia, in Mawab, Compostela Valley. Placencia is the 750th victim of extra-judicial killing by Arroyo’s assassination squads since 2001 when Arroyo came to power.

Indeed, there will be no respite from Arroyo’s terrorist policy especially because now she has appointed a general as notorious as the butcher Gen. Jovito Palparan to the National Security Agency (NSA). The new NSA deputy, Lt. Gen. Pedro Cabuay, is accused of masterminding the summary execution and abduction of many activists, peasant leaders and church leaders in Southern Luzon as commander of the Southern Luzon Command (Solcom).

Cabuay joins NSA National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and other fascist minds in Arroyo’s Cabinet Oversight Committee for Internal Security which engineered and endorsed the AFP’s Oplan Bantay Laya, a military campaign characterized by the deployment of death squads, harassment of civilians and a reign of terror in the rural countryside.

There is no way by which Arroyo can honor her own commitments to the European governments, the UNHRC and institutions given her own human rights record. Her whole reactionary presidency has been maintained not only by a policy of terror but also electoral fraud, corruption, barefaced lies and disinformation. Her own cabinet is also highly militarized with the continuing appointment of loyal retired military and police generals many of whom stand accused not only of corruption and electoral fraud but also of grave human rights violations.

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