Tuesday, March 15, 2005

NR0315:Vigilante groups front of the AFP

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release March 15, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Email: paggawa@edsamail.com.ph, anakpawis2003@yahoo.com
Cellphone number 09213907362
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Military using vigilante groups as front for the brutal killing of
unarmed civilians and activists - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the military and their cohorts in the local governments units are putting up vigilante groups as a means to cover their own brutal attacks against cause-oriented groups, progressive party-lists and their members. "It's a convenient way for the military to carry out their bloody agenda without taking the blame for it. But they're not fooling anyone. These recent killings of activists as well the previous deaths are all the handiwork of the military, and they're part of the national government's counter-insurgency and so-called 'anti-terrorism' campaign," he said.

"These despicable acts are the work of cowards. They're unable to go after the New People's Army (NPA) so they're killing unarmed civilians and tagging them as NPA members or supporters." he said.

Yesterday in Tarclac City, police in a report said that the March 3 murder of activist city councilor Abelardo Ladera was the doing of a vigilante group calling itself "Nagkakaisang mga Biktima ng Karahasan ng NPA (New People's Army), or NBKN. It was earlier this week when the shadowy NBKN claimed responsibility for the killing of Ladera, whom the group has accused of being a
supporter of the NPA, armed wing of the underground Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Authorities are also saying that Ladera's assailant was a "professional hitman," as witnesses have it that the gunman fired the shot from inside a Delica van that was parked some 20 meters away from where the councilor was standing. Only a single bullet hit Ladera in the left chest, which police described as a "double action" cal. 22.

Another anti-communist vigilante group is also said to be making the rounds and targeting civilians -- the "Kasama-Kayabe-Kadua" (the respective Tagalog, Pampango andIlocano translations of the English word "friend) or KKK.

According to Chief Insp. Florante Torres, head of the police provincial operations division, a copy of KKK's statement claiming responsibility to previous killings of activists and suspected NPA supporters elsewhere in Central Luzon was found near the auto spare parts shop where Ladera was slain.

"It's highly doubtful that these groups actually exist. If they really do, it is with the blessing and full funding of the military. During the Marcos dictatorship and eve up to the time of ex-president Corazon Aquino, the military used vigilante groups as fronts. The military is always behind the anti-communist hysteria and attacks against civilians they suspect to be activist," he said.

According to him, this has been the case with vigilante groups such as the Tadtad, Pulaans and Itumans in the Visayas and Mindanao, which killed and brutalized unarmed activists and suspected communist sympathizers.

"These anti-communist vigilante groups are on the pay-roll of the military. It's the military authorities who draft the plan of action for these groups, put together the hit lists and give the killers the weapons and other means to liquidate their civilian targets. Who creates the dossiers on activists and suspected communists but the military?"#


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