Carol Pagaduan-Araullo | Carnage Waiting to Happen

Karapatan, the human rights alliance, ascribes to Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL or Operation Freedom Watch), the Arroyo regime’s counter-insurgency program, the mindset among the powers-that-be that led to the Maguindanao massacre: “Under OBL, the recruitment and arming of paramilitary groups such as the Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Unit (Cafgu) and civilian volunteer organizations have persisted and in fact have been resorted to by the government in its mad design of purportedly ending the insurgency by 2010.”

“With this counter-insurgency program, so many victims, easily labeled as ‘fronts’ of ‘communist organizations’ and ‘enemies of the state’ have turned up dead, killed in a brutal manner, and some disappeared; with the Arroyo government doing nothing to stop the killings, disappearances and other human rights violations. In fact, it even heaped praises for known perpetrators identified with these crimes. Under this counter-insurgency scheme, the Arroyo government has become the biggest warlord in the land.”

“For far too long has this regime considered itself a law above the citizens, contravening the laws laid out in the legal instruments of the land so much so that its coddled political allies have imbibed the mindset that they, too, can commit such transgressions with impunity.”

This state of impunity has likewise abetted fraud and plunder at the highest reaches of government, with the likes of Garci, Bolante, Abalos and no less than the first couple spared from an honest-to-goodness investigation, prosecution and conviction.

The Arroyo regime rightly deserves the people’s condemnation for its bloodied hand in this most vile crime against humanity. With the unrepentant Arroyo regime still in place and its kid gloves treatment of the Ampatuans, we certainly have not seen the last or even the worst of its atrocities. Business World / Posted by (

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