Thursday, March 29, 2007

Int’l Tribunal Verdict: Political Killings Stem From Opposition To Arroyo’s Economic Policies

I doubt that Gloria Arroyo is in control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. She has no political will to fire-out General Eduardo Ermita and his military clique, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Interim Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales, Defense chief Hermogenes Ebdane and AFP chief General Hermogenes Esperon. The Cabinet Oversight Committee on Internal Security (COC-IS) is responsible for the discredited counterinsurgency Oplan Bantay Laya II. The militarization of Metro Manila’s slum areas is part of Oplan Bantay Laya II to neutralize left wing elements and its supporters. It appears the Philippines bogus President Gloria Arroyo is dragging the US military to fight her all-out war against the communist. Oplan Bantay Laya II is patterned after Vietnam War, CIA inspired-Operation Phoenix.

Int’l Tribunal Verdict: Political Killings Stem From Opposition To Arroyo’s Economic Policies
Written by Antonio Tujan Jr.
Thursday, 29 March 2007

Political killings persist precisely because the government attempts to stop people’s opposition to policies and systems that violate their economic rights.

By Antonio Tujan Jr.

IBON Features Vol XIII No 7

IBON Features-- The recent verdict of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) found Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo guilty of violating Filipinos’ political and civil rights, as well as their economic rights and right to self-determination. It is important to emphasize the relationship of these violations because it will explain why political killings persist in the country.

Under the Arroyo government, domestic production and agriculture remained in depression while joblessness and poverty worsened as it aggressively implements neoliberal reforms.

What the verdict of the 7-member jury indicates is this: the current rash of political killings stems from the regime’s attempts to silence opposition to her policies and the resulting economic crisis.

For instance, according to the PPT proceedings, in its struggle against extreme poverty, Filipino farmers have organized themselves to claim their rights through the democratic process. But their resistance is met with state repression by increasing military presence in the countryside. Statistics show that almost 60% of the victims of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances are farmer leaders and that these killings are not isolated but planned and systematic.

Not surprisingly, the main target of extrajudicial killings (and disappearances, massacres, tortures, etc.) is the legal left. For years, it has steadily represented the people's voice in the national and international arenas in calling for an end to policies and systems that violate economic, social, and cultural rights of Filipinos. Rights groups have recorded more than 800 victims of political killings under the Arroyo administration since 2001.

The legal left has been the target in the regime’s campaign to suppress opposition, using the communist bogey and the US-led war on terror as context. Targeting progressive party-lists, people’s organizations, and civil society groups also sends a signal to anti-Arroyo forces without providing the push that would strengthen and incite the opposition further.

But as history has shown, amid intense poverty, hunger, unemployment, and landlessness, the efforts of the administration to suppress people’s movements do not decisively weaken opposition ranks but only fuel further social unrest. IBON Features

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