Friday, March 16, 2007

Esperon advocating a pogrom against civilian activists and progressives by charging progressive party-lists as CPP fronts

Friday March 16, 2007

Esperon advocating a pogrom against civilian activists and progressives by charging progressive party-lists as CPP fronts

Anakpawis Representative and political Crispin Beltran today slammed what he said as "either shocking naivete or breathtaking stupidity" Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon Jr's assertion that the Communist Party of the Philippines be outlawed.

"Even without repealing the anti-subversion law, the Macapagal-Arroyo government and its predecessors have always considered the CPP as an outlaw organization. There is nothing new or interesting with Esperon's announcement. What we are most disturbed and outraged over is the AFP and the Arroyo administration's thrust to criminalize the progressive party-lists Anakpawis, Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women's Party y insisting that they are fronts for the CPP. They are not, and the solons of these progressive party-lists are nothing but that – progressive lawmakers. Our members, leaders and supporters are being harassed, persecuted and killed because of this twisted and fraudulent insistence of the AFP and National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales that we are mere fronts of the CPP," he said.

"Esperon cannot prove anything. The AFP has shot, killed and massacred hundreds of civilians, political activists and human rights organizations on the mere suspicion, unfounded accusations that they are communists when al they were were members of the progressive party-lists. Esperon is calling for an all-out pogrom against the progressive party-lists and militant people's organizations by casting his anti-communist net to include political activists opposed to the corruption of the Arroyo government," he said.

"If the government sees it as its mandate to go after the CPP-NPA and the NDF, then that is not surprising. The latter are armed revolutionary groups; but the progressive party-lists are strictly legal organizations. Our members are ordinary men and women simply trying to do the extraordinary by advocating genuine social change through activist politics. We are not fronts, we are independent and separate organizations with our own mandates, constitutions and by-laws recognized by the Comelec and even the House of Representatives where we hae had representation since 2001," he asserted.

The activist lawmaker said that even the United States government is raising an alarm against the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines due to military's the out-of-control campaign against progressives.

"A glaring white spotlight is now trained on the Philippines because of Pres. Arroyo's refusal to lay down a firm and unequivocal order to the AFP and the rest of the military institution to stop the extra-judicial killings. None of the supposed steps and measures the Arroyo administration has undertaken has resulted in justice for the victims. If anything, the situation has worsened a thousand fold because the AFP is now categorically accusing the progressives groups the victims supported and worked for as fronts for the CPP-NPA and the NDF, " he said.

"If the Bush government itself has been compelled to speak out against the killings the Arroyo administration-- its closest ally in Asia -- is perpetrating than you know that things have gotten out of control. In the eyes of the international community, the Philippines is a massive killing field where the military is shooting at members of Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela and activist people's groups," he said.#


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