Gloria Has Surpassed Marcos Rights Record - Solon
145 a year under GMA, 120 a year under FM
Based on data from Karapatan (Alliance for
the Advancement of People’s Rights), the number of victims of
extra-judicial killings has reached 725 since 2001, when Arroyo became
president through a popular uprising. This translates to an average of 145
extra-judicial killings a year under her administration.
BY KARL G. OMBION
BACOLOD City –
Sorsogon Rep. Francis Escudero, in a press conference here over the
weekend, said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has surpassed the
human rights violation record of deposed strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
Escudero noted in
particular the massive extrajudicial killings under the Arroyo
Based on data from
Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights), the number of
victims of extra-judicial killings has reached 725 since 2001, when Arroyo
became president through a popular uprising. This translates to an average
of 145 extra-judicial killings a year under her administration.
“It’s true (the)
Marcos regime was known for its human rights violations, but those
violations took place in the span of 20 years or so, and he had an average
of 120 killings only per year,” Escudero said. “Arroyo’s records in about
five years only have clearly surpassed (those of) Marcos.”
He expressed doubt
over Arroyo’s ability to solve 10 cases of extra-judicial killings over 10
weeks as she ordered in a directive recently issued to the Philippine
National Police (PNP). “Assuming she is sincere, if that is her timetable
it would take beyond her term to solve all the killings,” Escudero said.
“Meanwhile, killings continue, thus making her promise moot and academic.”
Escudero also scored
Arroyo’s adoption of an “all-out war” policy; as well as the imposition of
Executive Order No. 564 which serves as a green light for both the state
security and the local government executives to arm themselves and their
private armies openly, and run after militants and opposition alike.
“While she encouraged
families of victims and witnesses to come out and file complaints, she
also praised General Palparan and his like for their continued fight for
so-called democracy,” he said. “So, who would really dare come out under
Palparan is Maj. Gen.
Jovito Palparan, Jr., who has gained notoriety for the killings of
activists and other human rights violations that have occurred at alarming
rates in areas under his command.
He is presently
assigned in Central Luzon and has recently implemented a cedula
(community tax certificate) drive in Nueva Ecija province. Persons there
who have been unable to produce community tax certificates are widely
reported to a have been rounded up by the military.
development, Escudero challenged Arroyo to give the people her true state
of health amidst rumors that she is suffering a serious ailment.
hospitalized twice only last month, the first time purportedly for
diarrhea and the second time supposedly for influenza. Speculations are
rife that she is actually suffering from a severe kidney ailment, but
Malacańang has denied these.
“I am asking her once
and for all to declare openly and officially either personally or thru an
official expert, not just anybody else, her real health condition so we
would know what to do or how to help her,” said Escudero.
that she is not taking Arroyo’s reported ailment as a political issue, or
an issue to remove her from power. “In fact we all wish her a good health;
it’s important how her health affects her governance,” he added.
He said under the
Constitution, the president could write to or express before Congress if
she feels she could no longer perform effectively for health reasons.
Escudero was in
Bacolod as a guest at the Bacolod Rotary Club’s founding anniversary
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© 2006 Bulatlat
Alipato Media Center
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