Arroyo Killings Worse than
Marcos - Jalandoni
“By record numbers
she is worse than Marcos,” said Luis Jalandoni, a former Catholic priest
who is now the International Spokesperson of the National Democratic Front
of the Philippines (NDFP).
By Edwin C. Mercurio
Contributed to Bulatlat
CANADA - While Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was lauded by
Vatican for signing a law abolishing the death penalty last week, her
administration is being blamed for the unsolved political killings, which
had reached 690 under her watch. The victims include judges, lawyers,
priests, workers, peasants, anti-mining activists, journalists, doctors,
teachers, union leaders, environmentalists and leaders of indigenous
numbers she is worse than Marcos,” said Luis Jalandoni, a former Catholic
priest who is now the International Spokesperson of the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). “The killings and
assassinations continue with impunity under the Arroyo administration."
Marcos Dictatorship, there were more than 1,500 victims of summary
executions, and more than 700 victims of forced disappearance, over a span
of 14 years. Under Arroyo, the human rights alliance Karapatan has
recorded 175 victims of forced disappearance as of June 27.
In a speech
before a gathering of community leaders in Toronto, Jalandoni said that
the murderous rampage of the regime of President Arroyo is directly linked
to the “terrorist” listing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and
its military arm, the New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
is the same as Operation Phoenix in Vietnam, he said. Operation Phoenix
was an assassination program undertaken by the CIA in Vietnam. The idea
was to cripple the National Liberation Front (NLF) by killing influential
people like mayors, teachers, doctors, tax collectors or anyone who aided
the functioning of the NLF's parallel government in the South. Many of the
suspects were tortured and some were tossed from helicopters during
interrogation. William Colby, the CIA official in charge of Phoenix and
who later became CIA director, insisted this was all part of "military
necessity". More than 20,000 Vietnamese citizens were killed as part of
American magazine Counterspy describes the Phoenix Program as "the
most indiscriminate and massive program of political murder since the Nazi
death camps of World War II."
of unsolved killings, arrests without warrants and inhuman torture of
suspects in the Philippines are a drawback to Operation Phoenix and the
era of McCarthyism in the U.S. where persons suspected of communist ties
and listed under the "Philippine Military Order of Battle" are targeted
for surveillance, assassination and political persecution", Jalandoni
also said that General Eduardo Ermita who served under Marcos in the 1980s
and now the Executive Secretary of the Arroyo administration and John
Negroponte, Operation Phoenix spy chief who visited RP last year, are
instrumental in the spate of unsolved killings in the Philippines.
a US ambassador to Iraq is known to have implemented the "Salvadoran
Option" where killings were blamed on Iraq's resistance. Cause-oriented
groups have accused Ermita of being one of the architects of murders and
killings of political activists and opposition leaders during Marcos'
martial law regime, and is said to be likewise behind the relentless
killings of political leaders and activists under the Arroyo
"terrorist" listing of the CPP-NPA has also derailed the peace
negotiations between the Manila government and the NDFP when the chief
negotiator of the CPP-NPA professor Jose Maria Sison was included in the
U.S. terrorist listing followed by the Dutch, British, Canadian, European
Union and Australian governments.
terrorist listing, Jalandoni said the peace negotiation was focused on the
socio-economic reforms, human rights and respect for international
humanitarian law and reforms to address the root causes of the armed
terrorist listing, all they wanted is for the NDFP to surrender and sign a
final peace agreement," Jalandoni said ."So, all those who want the
resumption of the peace negotiation should exert all efforts to campaign
and exert pressure to take Joma Sison and the CPP-NPA off the terrorist
list." The NDFP is the umbrella organization of the CPP-NPA.
also quoted the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) 2005 report
which categorically stated “that the CPP-NPA are not terrorists.”
report declared that the CPP-NPA consists of liberation movements and as a
matter of policy and practice, they do not attack civilians. The CPP-NPA
are more on the tradition of liberation movements. In addition, the NDFP
declares its adherence to the Geneva Convention and Protocols of
1991-1996. The NDFP's basic doctrines, policies, rules and continuing
practice adheres and respects human rights and international humanitarian
law. It treats its prisoners of war with humane treatment, releases them
and testimonies from released prisoners of war state that they are treated
well, So, we think that also is an important aspect to bring up in a
formal peace talk."
2005, the NDFP submitted a 10-point proposal “for a just peace”,
hand-carried to the GRP panel in Oslo as well as to the Norwegian
government. According to Jalandoni, "if the Philippine government is
willing to sign the document, we could have an immediate truce, not a
surrender, but the stopping of hostilities while reforms addressing the
root causes of the armed conflict could be undertaken. But the Arroyo
government has answered by declaring a kind of total war and has put all
of us who are in the negotiating panel and consultants on the wanted list
and charged with rebellion."
“As you can see, in RP as well as abroad there is a strong campaign to
stop the killings, a call for the resumption of peace talks and the
de-listing of the CPP-NPA and Professor Joma Sison.”
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© 2006 Bulatlat
Alipato Media Center
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