Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Incarcerated lawmaker issues plea to Church and religious groups to denounce political killings

From the Office of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
May 30, 2006

Incarcerated lawmaker issues plea to Church and religious groups to denounce political killings

Activist lawmaker Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran today appealed to the leaders of the Catholic Church and other major religious formations in the country to speak out against the continuing campaign of terrorism the Macapagal-Arroyo administration is conducting against activist civilians and members of progressive party-lists and people's organizations.

"In the name of all those who have been brutally slain at the hands of the mercenaries of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, we ask that all Church organizations and religious formations in the country would denounce this cold-blooded slaughter of civilians whose only crime is to speak out in defiance against the corrupt and illegitimate presidency," he said.

"What this government is doing is complete barbarism," he said. "The Macapagal-Arroyo government has set loose the hounds of hell against political activists and human rights advocates, and to not raise one's voice against this is to condone the brutal murders. What do these killings affirm but the truth that there is no genuine political freedom in the country, and that human rights are nothing but empty phrases for the government?"

The veteran labor leader turned legislator said now is not since the days of the Marcos dictatorship has the democratic space and the exercise of one's political beliefs been so viciously attacked. "Macapagal-Arroyo has not even declared martial law and yet here we have the Filipino people being subjected to the most violent proofs of a working dictatorship?"

Beltran himself remains incarcerated on hackneyed charges.

Finally, Beltran said that each day brought reports of yet another journalist or member of a progressive political party, church organization or people's group gunned down. "Is this not something to condemn and protest against? The country continues its plunge to economic failure and political mayhem, and Filipinos must take action against all this, most particularly and urgently so because the government has taken to killing those who speak out in defiance."#


Blogger Jonnel said...

When I read a news report that the militants killed under the administration of President Arroyo now number to 124 by the death of Jose Doton in Pangasinan, more than the lawlessness I am more scared by the apathy we show. The number is not just statistics. They represent dead individuals. They may be militants but they are human beings just like us. They have families, spouses and children. They have dreams too. In fact, their dreams may be bigger than perhaps anyone of us hold because they dream for a better country and not just for the betterment of themselves or their families.

When we become inure to the deaths of these human beings just like we do to the staggered increases of fuel prices, soon we will tolerate deaths in the streets as long as the person killed is a militant. I hope that this should never be our attitude in the future. Do we ever consider what would happen if all militants were killed and another group earned the ire of the killers, would the same fate confront that other group? And when that happens what would be our reaction? How about if we happen to belong to that new group subject of the killers’ ire? Would a stranger cry over our death? Or we would just be part of the rising statistics?

Death indeed does not scare as long as it does not knock on our door; in the same manner that we easily forget outrageous deaths for the most trivial reason: remember ULTRA tragedy?

Slowly but without knowing it, we may already be ruled by a dictator because of our apathy. American educator Robert Maynard Hutchins once said that “the death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment.”

We must never complain about injustice if we do not know how to fight for our rights.

10:59 PM  

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