A total of 120 political activists and supporters of progressive party lists and people’s organizations have been killed from January to October 26. For the sake of human rights, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her mean killing machine must be prevented from inflicting more harm on the Filipino people.
BY THE Alliance for the Advance of People’s Rights
Posted by Bulatlat.com
Karapatan, an alliance of human rights organizations, reports that a total of 120 political activists and supporters of progressive party lists and people’s organizations have been killed from January to October 26,2005.
From September to Oct. 15, an activist was killed every week. Karapatan cites October 25-26 however as the worse. “It is enraging, alarming and deplorable that five persons were killed in the provinces of Tarlac, Pampanga and Bulacan within 24 hours,” said Ruth Cervantes, Karapatan Public Information Officer.
Three of those summarily executed belonged to militant organizations. Initial reports that reached Karapatan indicate that Ricardo Ramos, CATLU president was killed at around 9:30 p.m. of Oct. 25. Francisco Rivera of Bayan Muna-Pampanga was shot dead with his two companions, Dr. Angel David and Von John Maniti in the morning of Oct. 26 or some 12 hours after Ramos was shot dead. At 5:30 p.m. the same day, Pedy De Leon of the transport group Piston and Anakpawis-Bulacan was likewise shot dead.
Eighteen (18) persons were killed in Central Luzon (12 Sept- 26 Oct), 12 of them were members of progressive party lists and people’s organizations, the other six (6) were their supporters and sympathizers.
The assailants have yet to be identified but families of the victims have strong suspicions that the military is behind the killing, especially since there has been a rise in extra-judicial killings of members and supporters of militant organizations after Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr. was transferred from Eastern Visayas where a similar pattern occurred.
“We cannot blame the next of kin of the victims for believing that the military, especially Gen. Palparan, could be behind the killings. The general’s reputation precedes him, and that is not because of militant organizations’ propaganda against him but because of documented cases of rights violations wherever he went,” Cervantes said.
Cervantes asked, “Are we to believe the generals’ alibi that the rise in killings of civilians branded by the AFP as being `enemies of the state’ in areas where he was assigned is only a coincidence?”
Cervantes challenged Gen. Generoso Senga, who said that Palparan’s complicity in the killings of activists is yet to be investigated, “to prove to the families of the victims that the AFP is not abetting human rights violations by putting Gen. Palparan under preventive suspension and subject him to an investigation.”
Human rights groups picketed the office of the Department of National Defense (DND), October 28, Friday morning, to press Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz to act judiciously and help put a stop to the killings.
“If Mrs. Arroyo continues to cling to power, more lives could be at stake. For the sake of human rights, Mrs. Arroyo and her mean killing machine must be prevented from inflicting more harm on the Filipino people.” Cervantes concluded. Posted by Bulatlat
List of political activists killed from September 1 to October 26, 2005,
based on initial reports from KARAPATAN regional officers.