Thursday, February 22, 2007

It's Macapagal-Arroyo's critics who should be on red alert, be watchful against AFP and PNP

Thursday, February 22, 2007

As EDSA 1 and PD1017 anniversaries near
It's Macapagal-Arroyo's critics who should be on red alert, be watchful against AFP and PNP

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that it is not the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) or the Philippine National Police who should be on red alert as the 21st anniversary of the first EDSA People Power Uprising approaches, but the general public. Beltran said that the Macapagal-Arroyo administration and its so-called 'intelligence units' might once more come up with another grand and fabricated excuse to impose a state of national emergency and begin rounding up members and sympathizers of the opposition as well as other critics of the administration.

Beltran himself was arrested February 25 last year as he was on his way to the EDSA shrine from Bulacan. He has since been charged with inciting to sedition and rebellion. It has also been six months since his case has been heard and discussed in court.

"It's not so much the PNP or the AFP should be vigilant as the countdown to the EDSA 1 anniversary begins, but Macapagal-Arroyo's critics. Given Malacanang's increasing desperation and the ever-growing influence of militarists in the Macapagal-Arroyo cabinet, it's highly possible that the red alert imposed in preparation for the EDSA 1 anniversary will be used as an excuse to round up Arroyo's critics and charge them of plotting against the administration. This is what was done to me and to justify my arrest and continuing detention," he said.

The political detainee said that Malacanang should not even think of calling for celebrations of EDSA 1 given that it has sullied the memory of the historic event when Macapagal-Arryo imposed Presidential Decree 1017 last year and violently dispersed the peaceful demonstrations that were organized to commemorate the event.

"Pres. Arroyo has no right to speak about the spirit of EDSA 1 given all that she has done to violate what EDSA 1 stood for – the Filipino people's struggle against dictatorship and the vicious attacks against civil and human rights. Macapagal-Arroyo has already surpassed Marcos' human rights violations record, and the tally of extra-judicial killings under her watch continues to increase."

"Macapagal-Arroyo is now solely relying on the support of the AFP and the PNP to remain in power. She condones and even lauds the attacks against civil and human rights. Her declarations that she will address the issue of the killings are all essentially hollow because she refuses to chastise the AFP and scrap Oplan Bantay Laya I and II. It's not enough that she's ordering more funds more the Commission on Human Rights. Even that is more likely to be just empty promises,' he said,

Finally, Beltran said that the lawmakers and nominees of the progressive party-lists Anakpawis, Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women's Party were also in danger of being arrested as the EDSA 1 anniversary nears.

"Our party-lists have certainly gotten the goat National Security adviser Norberto Gonzales, Justice secretary Raul Gonzalez and other the hardcore militarists in the administration lead by defense secretary Hermogenes Ebdane. We have reason to believe that there is an existing plot emanating from the Arroyo inner circles to eliminate the progressive party-lists by having them disqualified and their nominees charged with non-bailable crimes," he said.

Beltran said that especially in the light of United Nations Commission on Human Rights Special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Philip Alston's report, the AFP and the PNP will be raring to launch more attacks against the progressive party-lists and their representatives and leaders. #


Post a Comment

<< Home