Is Cardinal Rosales a shepherd of the flock or a shepherd of the Arroyo regime?

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Cardinal Rosales has allowed himself to be a tool of the Arroyo regime in trying to counter the recent verdict of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, the US Senate hearing and the statement of UN Special Rapporteur Prof. Philip Alston. He has practically descended to the level of traditional politicians like Prospero Nograles and Eduardo Veloso who are runners of Speaker Jose de Venecia and respond to the baton of Malacañang Palace propagandists. Has the Cardinal become the shepherd of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Norberto Gonzales, and General Esperon? 

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

How can a shepherd of the flock be unmoved by the extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, frustrated assassinations of hundreds upon hundreds of those whose lives and well-being he is ordained to protect?

Is the blood of Bishop Alberto Ramento – brutally stabbed seven times because he stood up for the Hacienda Luisita workers, criticized the Arroyo regime, and fought for social justice – to be called a “mere speck”? What about the blood of Fr. William Tadena, Pastor Isaias Sta. Rosa, Benjaline Hernandez, Alyce Claver and more than 830 other victims of extrajudicial killings, which UN Special Rapporteur Prof. Philip Alston said, “are convincingly attributed to the Armed Forces of the Philippines”? Are these to be called a “mere speck”?

The issue that has been resounding for some time in the Philippines and internationally is whether the military and the police forces of the Philippine reactionary state have the right to engage in extrajudicial killings, abductions and other gross human rights violations victimizing unarmed civilians.

It is highly anomalous for Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales to imply that such military forces can engage in the aforesaid human rights violations on the false assumption that their revolutionary opponents do likewise. The statement of Cardinal Rosales can only embolden the practitioners of state terrorism and inflame the civil war that is going on in the country.

Cardinal Rosales has allowed himself to be a tool of the Arroyo regime in trying to counter the recent verdict of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, the US Senate hearing and the statement of UN Special Rapporteur Prof. Philip Alston. He has practically descended to the level of traditional politicians like Prospero Nograles and Eduardo Veloso who are runners of Speaker Jose de Venecia and respond to the baton of Malacañang Palace propagandists. Has the Cardinal become the shepherd of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Norberto Gonzales, and General Esperon?

It is regrettable that Cardinal Rosales obscures the responsibility of the reactionary state for human rights violations, instead of calling on them to respect the International Bill of Human Rights, international humanitarian law and the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL).

The Filipino people expect Cardinal Rosales to be urging the Arroyo regime to comply with the CARHRIHL and the Oslo Joint Statements and thereby lay the ground for resuming the peace negotiations, especially by stopping the gross human rights violations. 

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