Monday, March 05, 2007

GMA signing anti-terror bill coincides with AFP's campaign to discredit progressive party-lists

Monday March 5 2007

GMA signing anti-terror bill coincides with AFP's campaign to discredit progressive party-lists

Anakpawis Representative and political detainee Crispin Beltran today said that Malacanang and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) were setting down conditions to outlaw the bloc of progressive party-lists led by Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and Gabriela Women's Party and disqualify them from participating in the May elections. Beltran said that Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's intent to sign the anti-terrorism bill tomorrow coincides with the offensive of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the progressive party-lists, including the militarization of urban poor communities sympathetic and supportive to the party-lists.

"We raise the alarm over Pres. Arroyo's intent to sign the anti-terror bill so soon after she declared that she would do it after the May elections. What changed her mind? We suspect that she is doing this on the prodding of the AFP, to supplement and cap the campaign of political repression and harassment the AFP has been conducting against our party-lists," said Beltran.

"Civil libertarians and human right advocates all over the country should sound the alarm against this infamous development. Macapagal-Arroyo's rush to sign and ratify the anti-terrorism bill is in support of the AFP's exhibitions of abuse of authority and partisanship. There is the very clear and present threat that Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela Women's Party will be disqualified in retaliation for the international embarrassment and condemnation suffered by the AFP because of its culpability in the issue of extra-judicial killings."

"More civilians also stand to have their civil and human rights violated with the signing and implementation of the anti-terror bill. It's yet another dark day for human rights in the Philippines, " he said.

Beltran said that with the signing of the anti-terror bill and the supposed discovery of Bayan Muna campaign paraphernalia among the documents of allegedly slain members of the New People's Army, the Macapagal-Arroyo government and the AFP were moving into second gear in their campaign to drive the progressive party-lists out of the parliamentary arena.

"For all we know, the AFP planted the posters, calendars and other materials and the slain 'rebels' are actually ordinary civilians they tagged as NPA members. We put nothing pass the AFP in the dirty and underhanded tricks department,' he said. #


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