Monday, January 29, 2007

BAYAN: Evidence Showed Malacañang Sanctioned Killings

What is Operation Phoenix? Oplan Bantay Laya is patterned after Operation Phoenix in Vietnam. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative Colonel Edward Lansdale masterminded the 1950s counter-insurgency program of the Quirino government and later against the Vietcong. The CIA used death squads during the agrarian Huk rebellion in Central Luzon provinces.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), a left-leaning activist group, claimed Tuesday
"Cabinet-level documents" showed that Malacañang sanctioned extrajudicial killings in the country.

"The responsibility for the killings goes all the way up to Malacañang and the Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security. We have seen Cabinet-level documents that show how these killings were sanctioned at the highest levels of office," BAYAN Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said in a press statement.

Reyes said BAYAN is set to present the evidence to international bodies Permanent People's Tribunal and the United Nations Special Rapporteurs, which is scheduled to visit the country this year.

Reyes said the documents detail a "step-by-step matrix" on how to "neutralize" legal organizations. He added that the document was presented to the Arroyo Cabinet.

The group, meanwhile, challenged Malacañang to abide by the Melo Commission's recommendation to pursue charges against retired Major General Jovito Palparan and other military field commanders for their involvement in the killings.

"If the Melo Commission report is to be believed, cases must be filed otherwise the Melo report will not really amount to much. It’s like telling us what we already know. We thus dare Raul Gonzalez and the Department of Justice to file the necessary cases against Palparan. This is the logical next step," Reyes said.

He also said President Arroyo, as commander-in-chief, should "take responsibility for the killings."

Karapatan, a left-leaning human rights group, said more than 700 leftist activists, farmers, community organizers and journalists have been killed since Mrs. Arroyo came to power in 2001.

On Saturday, Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, member of the Melo Commission, said the body found out that aside from some members of the military, leftist groups and private armies of politicians were involved in a rash of politically-motivated killings in the country.

"There are different results in the killings. We have identified that there are killings really perpetuated by the military," Pueblos said. "There are other killings by politicians and the military, politicians and their goons and killings as part of a [family] vendetta."

"There are also some killings perpetrated by the leftists," he said, referring to the communist New People's Army and its front groups.

"The thing that is bad in the country is that vigilante killings are tolerated," he said, referring to extrajudicial murders. ABS-CBN News

Related Links:
Melo Panel Tags Palparan In Slays
Palparan: Killings Not Part Of Our Operations
Focus on the Extrajudicial Killings in RP:
Operation Phoenix's Long Shadow
Stop the Killings

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