Gonzales is trying to jump the gun on European Human Rights Mission

FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee

Norberto Gonzales, Mrs. Gloria M. Arroyo’s ever-deceitful and dirty-tricks “expert” National Security Adviser, should keep his nose off the proposed international human rights mission that will investigate the extra-judicial executions, abductions and disappearances victimizing unarmed political activists in the Philippines.

FIDEL V. AGCAOILI
Chairperson, NDFP Human Rights Committee

Norberto Gonzales, Mrs. Gloria M. Arroyo’s ever-deceitful and dirty-tricks “expert” National Security Adviser, should keep his nose off the proposed international human rights mission that will investigate the extra-judicial executions, abductions and disappearances victimizing unarmed political activists in the Philippines.

Gonzales has committed enough bestial deeds and his hands are overflowing with the blood of his victims as one of the architects of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL). OBL, the Arroyo regime’s “anti-insurgency program”, is nothing but a sinister campaign that seeks to silence political activists and critics of the US-backed illegitimate president. By consistently demonizing and vilifying mass-supported people’s organizations and progressive party-list groups as “communist fronts” and “enemies of the state”, Gonzales has made them targets of the most virulent and brutal attacks of the reactionary government’s military, police and paramilitary forces and death squads.

Now he wants to use the Europe-based international human rights mission to play a blind eye on the same atrocities that he, his president and other National Security Council officials and generals committed as principals, and to instead look into the so-called “killing fields” of the New People’s Army (NPA). Talking to reporters in Havana, Cuba on the side of the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) last week, Gonzales said that the international body should look into the “mass graves” of the NPA to prove that the NPA had a hand in the present killings and that his government is innocent of the human rights allegations.

This is nothing but one of Gonzales’s recent irresponsible, cowardly and despicable statements that is obviously meant to twist the facts and put the blame on the revolutionary forces for the state-initiated atrocities.

It is this same tactic that Gonzales and his superiors in the reactionary government are using to make the Melo Commission concentrate on investigating alleged NPA atrocities in a bid to pin the blame on the NPA and wash the bloody hands of government and its armed forces off the brutal assassination of 752 activists and the abductions and enforced disappearances of 181 others.

Gonzales conveniently omits the fact that the survivors of assassination attempts, families and witnesses point to the military and police as those responsible for the killings and disappearances. The military and police usually vilify the victims as “enemies of the state” or as “communists” before they are physically attacked by the death squads.

The planned international monitoring mission that, as reported, will be joined by the Amnesty International and the governments of Finland, Belgium and Spain, will look into the present human rights conditions in the Philippines. Contrary to the claim of Arroyo and Gonzales, its formation is due to concerns expressed recently by these governments and institutions and pressure emanating from protest actions held by Dutch, Belgian and other Europeans as well as Filipino nationals.

The alarms and appeals expressed by the international community are loud and clear: that the Arroyo government and its military and police forces should be investigated and prosecuted for the rampant human rights violations; that any investigation about these cases should be independent and impartial and should lead to the prosecution and punishment of those found guilty; and that the Manila government must uphold human rights and international humanitarian law if it is to return to the peace negotiations between itself and the NDFP.

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