Why are Filipinos killing each other?

Philippine Star columnist Billy Esposo writes about political killings.

Let’s hear him speak:

Why are Filipinos killing each other?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR
By William M. Esposo
Sunday, June 17, 2007

Many Filipinos wonder why over 800 political activists who are obviously non-combatants are being killed. Many ask themselves these questions:

1. Why is the Arroyo regime allegedly killing supposed pro-Communist activists when it is also cozying up to China, the biggest Communist country in the world?

2. Why are these supposedly pro-Communist activists being killed as though they’re New People’s Army regulars? Haven’t we already enacted a law that allows the espousing of Leftist ideology as long as this does not promote the use of violence?

3. What is so fearful about Communism when a big number of Filipinos are already trooping to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Macao and Guangzhou because these Chinese cities can offer them much higher wages?

If indeed you asked yourself these questions, you should now ask yourself what then was the reason behind the killing of over 800 unarmed political activists? Hats off to you if you were smart enough to reject the regime’s line blaming all these serial killings to another of those purported Communist purges of its own members.

Maybe you believe the findings of the Melo Commission. Although appointed by the regime, the Melo Commission held the military accountable for the murders, the same conclusion drawn by UN Rapporteur Philip Alston. By command responsibility, the Commander-in-Chief should be held accountable for the murders.

So the logical next question is: who are provoking these killings and why? The blood trail seems to lead to the doorsteps of two people, the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Commander-in-Chief who would each appear to have different reasons for tolerating the crimes.

And now we ask: why NSA Norberto Gonzales and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo?

Inquirer reporter Fe Zamora exposed the hate campaign waged in the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) against Arroyo’s adversaries. In her article, “AFP being turned against Arroyo foes” published November 12, 2006, Fe reported the series of seminars being held in military camps to demonize the foes of the regime. Junior officers had leaked the story because they felt that a sinister agenda was driving the campaign.

NSA Norberto Gonzales had reportedly organized these seminars. Its course content promotes the extremely anti-Communist doctrine of the PDSP (Partidong Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas or Democratic Socialist Party of the Philippines). The PDSP is NSA Gonzales’ long-time advocacy and the doctrine of this Democratic Socialist Party was developed by Fr. Romeo “Archie” Intengan, SJ — the ideological guru of Gonzales.

When asked by Fe Zamora about the seminars, Fr. Intengan confirmed its existence and even asserted that it was conducted with the personal approval and endorsement of Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA).

Ironically, the Socialist movement, not right-wingers, is the Communist’s real archrival and Gonzales is known to be the most rabid anti-Communist in the Arroyo cabinet. More than Listerine, a mouth wash, it is Close-up that is the stiffest competitor of toothpaste brand Colgate.

It would shock many people to learn that that the two gurus behind the leaders of the PDSP and the CPP-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front) are Jesuits! While Fr. Archie Intengan, SJ is the political guru of the PDSP’s Gonzales, the late Fr. Jose Blanco, SJ was the guru of Joma Sison. Can this be a proxy war engaged for the two opposing Jesuits?

I can understand the ideological element behind NSA Gonzales’s desire to eliminate the Communists, whether of the underground or above ground variety. But I don’t think that crusade is of any interest to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo whose only political ideology is to win at all costs, by hook or by crook.

For GMA, I would think that conjuring a Communist bogey is a convenient way of justifying another attempt at imposing emergency rule. The untrustworthy character of the Arroyo regime is such that it can announce today that the Communists are a spent force while at the same time wage a policy of attrition and murder against above ground suspected Communists.

I do not subscribe to the prescriptions dispensed by the Communist or Socialist cause. My political ideology straddles the Conservative and Liberal lines. But I do admire the zeal and dedication of both the Socialists and the Communists, their passion for what they foster and their unstinting commitment to attain social justice for the disadvantaged members of society.

The over 800 activists who have already been killed are some of the most idealistic Filipino patriots we have. Worse, we have lost these patriots during a period when there seems to be so very few Filipino patriots around.

These patriots are our national treasures. They are the last ones we should be willing to lose, especially in these times when plunderers in the highest public offices, murderers in soldiers’ uniforms and wholesale election cheaters abound.

Our people have never been this impoverished. Our democratic institutions have been eroded to the point that only the Senate and the Supreme Court seem to be functioning according to their intended mandates. Our values have been distorted — cheating and stealing are now accepted by many as the norm. Our country needs every patriot it can harness if we are to get out of this rut.

We Filipinos already bear a big national shame before the rest of the world that these political murders have happened and continue to be happening here. What gives us even greater shame is why Filipinos do not even seem outraged by these murders.

Shouldn’t it incense us if the very people who are seen as plunderers, murderers and cheaters are also the very ones being implicated for killing Filipino patriots?

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