Friday, March 18, 2005

NR0318:Coordinated plans of the AFP, Abu Sayyaf

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release March 18, 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
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AFP and Abu Sayyaf's plans seem to be well-coordinated; crackdown against more Muslim and urban poor communities looming - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) seem to be very privy to the plans and operations of the Abu Sayyaf, "This is what makes me incredulous as to why the military and police have not been able to capture and defeat the Abu Sayyaf. They all seem to know each other quite well - they're privy to each other's plans and operations. One could even say that their plans are very well coordinated. What are they keeping from the public? They seem to know everything already --- even where the ASG will strike and when," he said.

The veteran lawmaker said that investigations should continue into the alleged tie-ups between the ASG and the AFP - including the rub out of the three ASG leader Commanders Global, Kosovo and Robot earlier this week in the overkill military operations that took 22 lives.

Beltran said that now, more than ever, the public should maintain strong vigilance against the movements and operations of the military, even regarding its supposed plans against the threat of the Abu Sayyaf.

"There are firm basis to argue that the military with the blessing of the Macapagal-Arroyo leadership is using the Abu Sayyaf to justify the imposition of more authoritarian measures, and to increase the powers of the military over the civilian population. All over Mindanao, the AFP have been arresting Muslim civilians on the merest suspicion of being ASG supporters or members, and all these civilians have been denied due process. Only the Muslim rights advocacy groups and human rights organizations are advocating for the release of these prisoners, and it's a massive blow against civil rights and liberties that so many of our Muslim brothers remain behind bars on unjust and illegal grounds," he said.

Beltran expressed certainty that with these latest announcement that the ASG is bent on wreaking terror this coming Holy Week, the military will implement more crackdown operations on various Muslim and urban poor communities all over the Metropolis, and even in the regions where there are Muslim residents.

"The Macapagal-Arroyo administration should be denounced for these attacks against Islam and the Muslim people. To justify the imposition of the US-dictated anti-terrorism measures such as the anti-terror bill and the national ID syste, as well as the suspension of other legal rights s protecting individuals' right to due process, the government and the AFP are fomenting discord between Muslims and Christians. Whatever strength or influence the ASG has is largely due to the barely secret support being given by the corrupt and ruthless elements in the AFP and the Malacanang cabinet. These, of course, include DILG secretary Angelo Reyes and national security adviser Norberto Gonzales," he said.#

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