“Terrorist listing” by EU and other governments emboldens GRP to escalate political killings

"Terrorist listing" by the EU and other foreign governments emboldens Arroyo government to escalate political killings 

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot recently declared he is prepared to bring up the murders of political activists in the Philippines to the Arroyo government. Bot’s declaration was part of his May 31 official reply to questions raised in the Dutch Parliament last May 3, 2006 by Parliament member Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party. To Mr. van Bommel’s question: “Is it true that this year already nine members of Bayan Muna, the same party to which some of those parliamentarians charged with rebellion belong, have been killed by unknown persons?”, the foreign minister answered with a simple “Yes”.

"Terrorist listing" by the EU and other foreign governments emboldens Arroyo government to escalate political killings 

By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chairperson, NDFP Negotiating Panel

Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot recently declared he is prepared to bring up the murders of political activists in the Philippines to the Arroyo government. Bot’s declaration was part of his May 31 official reply to questions raised in the Dutch Parliament last May 3, 2006 by Parliament member Harry van Bommel of the Socialist Party. To Mr. van Bommel’s question: “Is it true that this year already nine members of Bayan Muna, the same party to which some of those parliamentarians charged with rebellion belong, have been killed by unknown persons?”, the foreign minister answered with a simple “Yes”.

Foreign Minster Ben Bot said he was also prepared to bring up to the Arroyo government his concern with regards to the unstable situation and to call on the Philippine authorities to respect civil liberties, freedom of the press and human rights. In both cases, Minister Bot said he was prepared to raise these points in the framework of the European Union.

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) Negotiating Panel calls the attention of the Dutch and other governments in the European Union, the Canadian and Australian governments to the fact that the unjust and baseless “terrorist listing” of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the New People’s Army (NPA) and the Chief Political Consultant of the NDFP, Prof. Jose Maria Sison has emboldened the Arroyo government to go on a rampage of extrajudicial killings of civilians, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations. It uses the so-called terrorist listing as a license to silence, arrest and kill those in the opposition, particularly those from the legal left and progressive movement.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Amnesty International, even the regime’s own Commission of Human Rights, are among the many Philippine and international organizations which have declared their deep concern over the escalation of extrajudicial killings. These have averaged four every week since the beginning of this year.

The Arroyo government has deceived the foreign governments in persuading them to follow the US “terrorist listing”. It should be stressed that there is no law on terrorism in the Philippines. The Philippine Supreme Court in a decision on May 3, 2006 declared as unconstitutional the reference to “acts of terrorism” in the General Order No. 5 of Arroyo’s Proclamation 1017. The Philippine Supreme Court declared that “terrorism” is unkmown and alien to Philippine law and jurisprudence.

The foreign governments should also take note of the important fact that the unjust and baseless “terrorist listing” of the CPP, the NPA and Prof. Sison is obstructing the resumption of formal peace talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

Since the “terrorist listing” of the CPP, the NPA and Prof. Sison by the US in August 2002, the focus of the Arroyo government has shifted towards pressuring the NDFP to capitulate. It no longer sought to negotiate on the fundamental social, economic and political reforms to address the root causes of the 37-year-old armed conflict. The Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) approved by the Principals of both Parties in 1998 is ignored by the Arroyo regime. Likewise, The Hague Joint Declaration of 1992 and the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees of 1995 and other peace agreements have been laid aside by the GRP.

The NDFP calls on the governments that have included the CPP, the NPA and Prof. Sison in the “terrorist listing” to remove them from said listing in order to discourage the Arroyo regime from further committing human rights violations and therefore save numerous lives. By such action they can also effectively help in the efforts towards the resumption of the formal peace talks directed at addressing the root causes of the armed conflict. They can thus counter the deception by the Arroyo government which led them to issue the “terrorist listing”.

It is becoming all too clear that following the US in its so-called “war on terror” leads to gross human rights violations. In like manner, getting involved in secret illegal flights of the CIA in the web of “rendition” and other illegal abductions and extraditions by the CIA, is not only a gross violation of the European Treaty; it is also a flagrant violation of the basic rights of the victims and their families.

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