A case in point are the witnesses in the abduction and murder of the human rights leader of Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) in Southern Tagalog, Eden Marcellana, together with peasant leader, Ka Eddie Gumanoy in 2003. In fact they themselves were abducted when their fact-finding mission to Mindoro Oriental was waylaid by armed men on a national highway. They survived the ordeal and courageously stood as witnesses, even identifying the right-hand man of then Col. Jovito Palparan, a master sergeant, as one of the kidnappers but nothing happened. The case is still languishing in the (In)Justice Department. Worse, the witnesses suffer all sorts of harassment and must rely on their own meager resources to protect themselves.

Now that the Arroyo government is no longer able to deny that the rash of political killings are a gruesome fact, they have resorted to a more sinister line that both civilian and military authorities are saying in chorus.

Mrs. Arroyo’s top security people are saying that the killings are being done by the communists themselves since they have a history of bloody purges. They dredge up the anti-infiltration campaign of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in the early 1980s that went terribly awry and victimized many innocent members and supporters of the communist movement and they say this is what is happening again.

What they don’t say is that the CPP has publicly acknowledged, condemned and vowed to make amends to the victims for the excesses and abuses that their attempts to flush out military infiltrators from their ranks had caused. (Something that the military and police high command have never done vis a vis their own terrible human rights records.)

The government continues to shroud in mystery the pronouncements of the CPP relating to this issue including their acknowledgement that such anti-infiltration campaigns had caused more harm to their cause than even the most fearsome government military campaigns. It stands to reason that the CPP-NPA would be extremely careful not to allow a repeat of such a grievous mistake.

Nevertheless, Mrs. Arroyo’s men – Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, PNP chief Arturo Lomibao and the AFP top brass ­want us to believe that the most plausible reason for the more than 250 alleged political killings that are continuing to this day is that the members of the CPP-NPA are simply killing each other for reasons that are still to be determined.

At this point it should be obvious that what the Arroyo government is engaged in is another massive cover-up, this time, of official sanction for extrajudicial killings of progressives, activists and their supporters.

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