Thursday, March 17, 2005

NR0317:Angelo Reyes heaves a sigh of relief

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release March 17, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Killing of Abu Sayyaf ringleaders convenient for Angelo Reyes,
other corrupt officials of the AFP, DND - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran said that the the the Philippine National Police's (PNP) use of excessive force in settling the crisis the Camp Bagong Diwa prison complex in Bicutan, Taguig that resulted in the death of 22 inmates can never be justified. He said that wat the PNP did was cold-blooded murder of civilians. "It betrays a complete disregard for human life. Majority of those killed were only suspected of being Abu Sayyaf and were never proven guilty by any court of law. The PNP's exaggerated operations against a small group of prisoners with only three short firearms be such a threat should be condemned by all human rights advocates."

Beltran said that the murders of the three Abu Sayyaf leaders Commander Global, Robot and Kosovo was very convenient for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), particularly for former National Defense secretary and now Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Angelo Reyes who have not been able to kill allegations of having made dealinsg with the ASG to divide ransom money for the ASG's former captives.

"The PNP operations have all the trappings of a rubout. Up to now, the AFP have not been able to shake off accusations that its leaders have been in cahoots with the ASG in their criminal activities. With the killing of Alhamzer Limbong, Ghalib Andang and Nadzmie Saabdullah, the government has eliminated elements knowledgeable about the AFP-Abu Sayyaf conspiracy and who could have blown the whistle to expose those in the AFP and the DND benefited from the blood money from the ASG's victims.

"It's highly questionable that the officials of PNP, AFP insisted on squashing the crisis using brutal force. The content of the negotiations and the developments were kept so tightly under wraps and clouded with so much mystery and secrecy that it's hard to determine what really took place. For all we know, the ASG leaders were already pleading for their lives, not to mention the other prisoners who were held hostage during the siege," he said.

"In the wake of this brutality, it's nauseating to witness the officials of the PNP being commended and proclaimed as heroes. They have even resorted to calling all the inmates as ASG to justify the massacre. It is the families of the killed inmates who continue to assert the innocence of their loved ones are the ones who deserve the public's sympathy."

Beltran said that majority of those detained at the complex were men who were merely rounded up by the military and police during saturation drives in Moro communities in Basilan, Metro Manila and various provinces in Mindanao. "Most of those detained in the various prisons as ASG as actually innocent civilians denied due process and used as the AFP's scapegoats."#


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