Arroyo regime is hell-bent on escalating extrajudicial killings with impunity

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Human rights organizations as well as the organizations, colleagues, immediate relatives and friends of the victims have clearly pointed to the death squads of the military and police loyalists of the regime as responsible for the killings and kidnappings. They speak the truth louder than the lies and intrigues of the cabinet members and generals of the regime. 

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

The recent announcement of Gloria M. Arroyo that she has ordered the police investigation of the extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of leaders and activists of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Anakbayan and progressive mass organizations, priests and pastors, journalists, advocates of human rights and peace and other people critical of the Arroyo regime is a malicious act intended to deceive the people.

Soon after Arroyo’s announcement, her national security adviser Nortberto Gonzales and secretary of justice Raul Gonzalez and high military officials have issued public statements to the effect that the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army are the ones responsible for the killings and kidnappings.

It is clear that the Arroyo regime has no intention of stopping the extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances but is hell-bent on escalating them with further impunity by putting the blame on the revolutionary forces and the victims themselves. The regime is seeking to destroy the legal patriotic and progressive forces in a futile attempt to intimidate and weaken the broad united front and the revolutionary movement.

Human rights organizations as well as the organizations, colleagues, immediate relatives and friends of the victims have clearly pointed to the death squads of the military and police loyalists of the regime as responsible for the killings and kidnappings. They speak the truth louder than the lies and intrigues of the cabinet members and generals of the regime.

The national security adviser Norberto Gonzales merely exposes himself as an evil and malicious intriguer by misrepresenting the Second Great Rectification Movement as a continuing purge, contrary to the fact that said movement criticized and repudiated the anti-infiltration campaigns of the 1980s and was an educational campaign to reaffirm the basic principles of the revolutionary movement. Those responsible for the anti-infiltration campaigns who refused to accept and correct their errors have since joined or collaborated with the reactionary government.

The Arroyo regime is becoming more brutal by the day. Three extrajudicial killings, one frustrated murder and one disappearance in three days! Bayan Muna Cagayan Valley Secretary General Elena Mendiola and her husband Ricardo Balauag, Bayan Muna Municipal Coordinator in Echague, Isabela killed in cowardly manner on May 10.

Rev. Jemias Tinambacan of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines in Misamis Occidental shot dead while his wife Rev. Marilou Tinambacan was seriously wounded on May 9. The latter identified military intelligence agent Mamay Guimalan as one of the four assailants riding two motorcycles. Philip Limjoco is reported by his son Glenn as missing since May 8.

In the first quarter of 2006, Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) documented 53 victims of extra-judicial killings and 16 victims of enforced disappearance. That is more than four killings and one disappearance every week! From April 3 to May 11, twelve persons more were killed.

More than 560 civilians have been killed during the Arroyo regime; more than 200 frustrated murder cases and 149 disappearances!

The regime’s preposterous claim of a purge within the revolutionary movement has long been exposed as a lie by the thinly-veiled and arrogant boasts of the cowardly butcher general Palparan that he orders the murder of unarmed civilians in the legal democratic movement by way of weakening and destroying the revolutionary movement. Cynically, he has called the extrajudicial killings “collateral damage”.

The regime’s Cabinet Oversight Committee for Internal Security (COC-IS), composed of General Eduardo Ermita together with National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz, AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Generoso Senga, and PNP Director General Arturo Lomibao, plans and directs the extrajudicial killings of suspected members or supporters of the revolutionary movement.

Many of the extradjudicial killings have been done by motorcycle riding assassins who target progressive leaders and members in the regions, provinces and municipalities. Such motorcycle riding assassins were common during the 1986-1988 period when General Ermita was the AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. They were used to destroy the Partido ng Bayan and mass organizations in localities.

The pattern of nationwide killing of suspected members or supporters of the revolutionary movement follows the Operation Phoenix program in Vietnam in the 1960s. At that time, Eduardo Ermita was in Vietnam together with John Negroponte, the current head of all US intelligence agencies. It is within the COC-IS that policies are made with the approval of GMA. In one such high level national security meeting, Norberto Gonzales proposed the assassination of Prof. Jose Maria Sison, as “the solution to all our [the regime’s] problems.”

The regime’s false allegation of a purge within the revolutionary movement is meant to further justify more extrajudicial killings. We have reliable reports that the regime is now preparing to start murders of civilians on the national level in the Metro Manila area and other major cities. It seeks to destroy the legal democratic movement and to weaken the revolutionary armed struggle. The intensified tactical offensives of the New People’s Army, with broad support of the people, are dealing ever stronger blows against the regime.

This murderous anti-people and anti-national regime is bound to face the wrath of the people. The broad united front and revolutionary armed struggle are growing in strength. The Arroyo regime is practically pushing the broad masses of the people to intensify revolutionary armed struggle. Thus, it is now known as unwittingly the best recruiter of the people’s army.

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