How can Gloria Arroyo face the international community with blood on her hands?

LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

How can Arroyo face the international community, with her hands covered with the blood of hundreds of victims of political killings? When the cries for justice of the families, friends and organizations of the 745 victims of extrajudicial killings hound her? When the families, friends and organizations of 185 victims of enforced disappearances and the survivors of more than 200 frustrated killings, their families, friends and organizations, in their anguish and sorrow cry out for solidarity from the international community?

LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Just four days before Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo departs for her international trip, two more political activists have been victims of enforced disappearances. A day before, on 3 September, the 745th victim of extrajudicial killing under the Arroyo regime was gunned down by motorcycle-cycle riding assassins.

How can Arroyo face the international community, with her hands covered with the blood of hundreds of victims of political killings? When the cries for justice of the families, friends and organizations of the 745 victims of extrajudicial killings hound her? When the families, friends and organizations of 185 victims of enforced disappearances and the survivors of more than 200 frustrated killings, their families, friends and organizations, in their anguish and sorrow cry out for solidarity from the international community?

How can she face the international community, when urgent requests of United Nations Special Rapporteurs to come to the Philippines to investigate extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other violations of human rights remain unanswered?

How can she face the international community, with the condemnations of Amnesty International, the United Church of Christ in Canada, the World Council of Churches, the Uniting Church of Australia, and so many others?

How can she join the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement when she has totally and subserviently aligned herself to US President Bush’s so-called war on terror, declared her support for his wars of aggression and agreed to US military intervention in the Philippines? Has she stood up for the rights of the non-aligned countries? Has she condemned the unjust US embargo of Cuba or the inhuman conditions of the illegal detention of the Cuba Five? She has agreed to the trampling of the national sovereignty of the Filipino people by approving the escalating US military intervention in the Philippines itself.

How can she face the community of overseas Filipinos after looting the funds of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and squandering the fertilizer fund meant for peasant communities from which many overseas Filipinos come? Without shame, she continues to ruin the Philippine economy, compel Filipinos to leave their families and seek employment abroad and impose on them so many unnecessary fees.

The glitter and bluster of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will fade and pass away. Her cold-bloodedly murderous subalterns, Generals Ermita, Palparan, Esperon, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and their ilk will also disappear soon from the political stage.

But the noble memory and inspiration of the people’s martyrs will shine bright and live on in the people’s unceasing struggle for genuine freedom, independence, democracy and a just and lasting peace.

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