Ric Ramos, leader of striking Hacienda Luisita farmworkers, was gunned down the other night near his home in Tarlac. Hours later, a Bayan Muna-Pampanga official and his two friends were shot dead.
Yesterday afternoon, a jeepney driver was shot in the head and chest somewhere in the capital of Bulacan. He was the local chairman of Piston and a leader Anakpawis.
President Arroyo has ignored the murders. Not even a statement of sympathy for the newly-orphaned kin of the slain activists.
It is no coincidence that the murdered persons were at the frontlines of mass actions for Arroyo’s ouster. Methinks that was the immediate reason for their killing. The regime has gone nuts over the resurgence of activist and other anti-Arroyo movements.
Perhaps Arroyo and the Armed Forces have again committed the big mistake of equating killing activists with prolonging their plunderous reign.
It should also be pointed out that the most recent murders are a continuation, nay, a worsening of the Palparan plague. This plague of intolerance and baseless anti-communism has followed Jovito Palparan from Central Luzon a decade ago to Oriental Mindoro, to Eastern Visayas and back to Arroyo’s home region.
Palparan’s terror strategies and tactics against so-called enemies of the state has not been stopped. Arroyo has instead been awarded promotions from colonel to brigadier general and lately to major general.
If Arroyo wishes to do one good thing now, it is to stop Palparan and thereby save many innocent lives in Central Luzon where he has resumed his many acts of terrorism.
But since Arroyo almost always rejects public clamor, it now rests on the other remaining decent people in government and the Parliament of the Streets to protect the rights of activists.
The best protection I could think of right now is ensuring the ouster of a pseudopresident who rewards the likes of Palparan, who is publicly known as an intolerant bitch, and who doesn’t care if countless people end up dead in her mad drive to remain in power.