(I wish to dedicate this post to my two friends who are in the picture here. They are both ordinary and extraordinary — they’re just like any mother, but like all mothers, they are doing everything to find justice for their daughters victimized by Mrs. Arroyo’s evil regime. More about the photo at the end of this post.)
Here they are — eight millstones tied to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s neck on the issue of the slaughter of activists, journalists, lawyers and other perceived critics of her administration:
- Mrs. Arroyo launched an all-out war under Operation Plan Bantay Laya against the Communist Party of the Philippines’ armed revolutionary movement that (a) baselessly accused legal organizations as “communist fronts” as a pretext for attacking their leaders and members, and (b) saw no difference between civilians and combatants in violation of the Geneva Conventions;
- Mrs. Arroyo allowed the filing of fabricated charges of rebellion and coup d’etat against leading critics of her administration, unleashed an unconstitutional state of emergency, banned mass actions and rallies, and continues to threaten others with similar charges;
- Mrs. Arroyo continues to detain Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran and allows ceaseless acts of harassment against the Batasan 5 Beltran’s colleagues from activist partylist groups (Many of those killed by death squads are members of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women’s Party, as well as other Bayan-affiliated mass organizations);
- Mrs. Arroyo promoted known butcher Jovito Palparan two times and publicly lauded him in her last State of the Nation Address to the dismay of human rights violation victims and families of those Palparan ordered murdered or involuntarily disappeared;
- Mrs. Arroyo formed Task Force Usig and the Melo Commission to purportedly investigate the slays, but allowed the two bodies to vilify victims and their organizations through cheap “theories” of a purge within activist ranks, prioritized the testimonies of AFP and PNP top brass (including Palparan himself), and persists in discrediting human rights group Karapatan — no wonder victims shy away from them and the international community remain unconvinced about the conduct of their probe; and
- Mrs. Arroyo publicly said that she’s open to the entry of foreign observers to look into the political slays, but up to now, several United Nations special rapporteurs still await official permission to visit the Philippines;
- Mrs. Arroyo allowed National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and leaders his party PDSP to go around military camps, dubbing legal organizations and legal anti-Arroyo personalities as “enemies of the state”;
- Mrs. Arroyo, as commander-in-chief, has failed to exercise her power to order the PNP and AFP to cease and desist from attacking civilians, and to investigate and punish officers and personnel behind the slays.
May the evil president drown in the blood of the innocents she allowed to be killed by her minions!
Photo courtesy of Arkibong Bayan shows Evangeline Hernandez (center), mother of slain human rights worker and campus journalist Benjaline Hernandez; and Linda Cadapan (right), mother of UP student Sherlyn Cadapan abducted by Palparan’s soldiers. The two grieving but fighting mothers are members of HUSTISYA!, the organization of victims of human rights abuses under the Arroyo regime and their families. Click on the picture for larger view.