Thursday, March 17, 2005

NR0316:Mass protests to continue despite killings

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release March 16, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Protests against OPHs, high electricity rates, taxes to continue and escalate despite attacks against members of progressive party-lists and people's organizations

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that despite the brutal attacks of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the members of militant people's organizations and progressive party-lists, there will be no letting up on the protests against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her anti-people tax measures, as well her administration's overall betrayal of the poor and marginalized sectors' welfare via cutbacks for social services and indifference to the demands for wage and salary increases.

"Protests against the administration will continue and escalate. President Arroyo has burned her bridges with the people's organizations that were instrumental in ousting her predecessor ex-president Joseph Estrada and bringing her to power. Now, as she holds office on her first official term, she goes down in Philippine history as a yet another president who wields the steel sword against her constituents," he said.

Beltran said that Anakpawis and its sister political parties will not retreat and will continue to engage the national government regarding its anti-people policies and corrupt governance. He said that Anakpawis, Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women's Party were elected into office, and more importantly, widely supported by the common people who are the main victims of the administration's inutility in putting an end to the oil price hikes, increasing electricity costs, rising cost of living, landlessness and massive unemployment.

"The AFP and the other armed and mercenary forces will not be able to kill all activists, much less all of the Filipino people who rage against the government's programs and policies. All there more will be growing protests and outrage against the government because of these killings. The human rights record of the administration is drenched in the blood of civilians, and should be exposed also to the international community," he said.

"The AFP might succeed in killing our members and regional leaders, but they will never succeed in defeating what their victims lived and fought for. As it continues to kill unarmed civilians, the AFP all the more exposes itself and its members, leaders for what they really are: mercenary and cold-blooded killers in uniform," he said.

Beltran said that it was an outrage that mass-based legal organizations and progressive political party raise the awareness of the people, oppose massive militarization, expose violations like massacres, hamlettings, extrajudicial killings and forced evacuations, their members are killed in cold-blood, get disappeared or their offices raided, or they are branded as recruiters or organizers of the New People's Army (NPA).

"And now Congress, upon the behest of the President, is now earnestly rushing at least 7 various anti-terrorism bills, whose common features are patterned after the US model and conforming to the so-called US "global war on terror". And yet, there are already subsisting laws and court decisions that seriously endanger and even provide impunity for violations of the people's rights. Now, the government is pushing further with these bills that have overbroad definitions of terrorism that would criminalize even legitimate political activity. They invariably feature draconian measures including expanded authority to intercept almost all forms of communication and inquire into bank deposits and freeze them, even longer periods of detention without charges for arrests without warrant and the inclusion of terrorism as an extraditable offense," he said. #


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