Extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, political persecution, baseless accusations, and arbitrary arrest and detention have no place in a democracy. These are contradictory to it. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Norberto Gonzales, Raul Gonzalez, and the AFP cannot claim to be defending democracy, for they are a curse to it.
BY BENJIE OLIVEROS
The May 2007 elections are fast approaching. Elections in the country which happen every three years are the only times when Filipinos have a semblance of participation in the affairs of government.
After the elections, politicians who are elected into office hardly represent the interests, views and positions of their “constituents.” Instead, they end up representing their own interests. Just look at how the “honorable” representatives from the ruling coalition conducted themselves during the last Congress especially when they used the tyranny of numbers in hastily junking the impeachment complaints against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Indeed, they have proven time and again that they do not deserve the title of representatives.
But the upcoming elections are being foreshadowed by the unabated extrajudicial executions now reaching 836, the 194 cases of forced disappearances and the militarization of Metro Manila as well as other provinces and secondary cities. Just recently, trumped-up charges were filed against Rep. Satur Ocampo and Vic Ladlad of Bayan Muna (People First), Rafael Baylosis and Randal Echanis of Anakpawis (Toiling Masses), not to mention Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU or May 1st Movement) and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP or Peasant Movement of the Philippines). There is also the disqualification case filed against Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, and Gabriela Women’s Party.
Then again, what can one expect from this government?
The Macapagal-Arroyo administration and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) continue to deny involvement in the political killings and forced disappearances even if all local and international fact-finding missions and investigations, with the exception of those conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP), point to state security agents as the perpetrators. Their stubborn denial in the face of incontrovertible proof is the very reason why death squads operate with impunity.
As regards the filing of cases which would not pass the scrutiny of any decent lawyer, National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales justified it by saying that the government is just setting the legal parameters and sending a signal that armed rebellion is unacceptable.
But what is more unacceptable in a supposed democracy, armed rebellion or extrajudicial executions and forced disappearances? What is illegal, membership in Left-leaning organizations or political persecution and arbitrary filing of cases?
Just like the members of the House of Representatives who give the term “representative” a totally different meaning (an exact opposite of what it should be), Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Raul Gonzalez, and Norberto Gonzales also have their own interpretation of the words “democracy” and “republic,” again the exact opposite of what they mean.
Extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, political persecution, baseless accusations, and arbitrary arrest and detention have no place in a democracy. These are contradictory to it.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Norberto Gonzales, Raul Gonzalez, and the AFP cannot claim to be defending democracy, for they are a curse to it.
The Filipino people cannot expect the upcoming elections to be honest, clean, and free. This early, the Arroyo administration has already shown that it has nothing but contempt for it – a posturing that is best explained by the fact that this administration is a product of a fraudulent electoral exercise. (Bulatlat.com)