Saturday, March 10, 2007

Military to cast a wide net and accuse activists, non-combatants opposed to Macapagal-Arroyo as terrorist using the Human Security Act

Saturday March 10, 2007

Military to cast a wide net and accuse activists, non-combatants opposed to Macapagal-Arroyo as terrorist using the Human Security Act

Anakpawis national vice-chairman and Kilusang Mayo (KMU) secretary for external and political affairs Rafael Baylosis said that the Macapagal-Arroyo government's true and notorious intent for pushing for the immediate passage and implementation of the anti-terror bill or the so-called Human Security Act. He said that there was an urgent need to reinvigorate the civil and democratic rights movement in the Philippines and establish a strong wall of unity against the burgeoning dictatorship Arroyo was establishing with the aid of the military.

Baylosis has been included in the arrest warrant in connection with the alleged murder of 15 members of the New People's Army (NPA) from 1985 to 1991. The arrest warrant was issued March 6, 2007 by Executive Judge Ephrem Abando of the Hilangos, Leyte regional trial court branch 18.

"The HSA is an instrument to crush the progressive people's movement in the Philippines. It's not so much he Communist Party or the Philippines (CPP), National Democratic Front (NDF) or the New People's Army (NPA) that the Arroyo government is targeting with the HSA. There's nothing new or surprising about the government going after these groups because it has been doing so since day one. The real objective of the HSA is to criminalize the progressive people's organization, the legal, mass groups that genuinely defend the interest of the marginalized sectors and oppose the oppressive and anti-poor policies of the government. Macapagal-Arroyo is paving the way for the full criminalization of the activist groups such as those allied with theBagong Alyansang Makabayan. With the HSA, the Arroyo government, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other state mercenary forces are casting a wide net – militant activists and progressives are fair game," he said.

"Now the likes of Bayan Muna Rep.Satur Ocampo, detained Anakpawis lawmaker Rep. Crispin Beltran, myslef and others are being persecuted and the terrorist label being unjustly tagged on us," he said. "July is still a long way off, but the AFP is already itching to implement it. The AFP has already begun to call for revisions in the HSA to make it even more vicious," he said.

Baylosis said that human rights advocates and civil libertarians should be alarmed over this infamous development that threatens the over-all security of millions of Filipinos. "The country is being taken over by an increasingly militarist and authoritarian orientation. The AFP has been calling the shots in all of this. Notice how Pres. Arroyo has now limited herself to speaking on purely economic issues and leaving the drastic political and security measures to her various henchmen in the AFP. The civilian bureaucracy is now being controlled and manipulated by the military," he said.

"Makes makes this entire situation even more alarming and life-threatening is how ordinary, common civilians espousing the most basic sentiments of patriotism by being anti-government will also be targeted. Our main opposition to the anti-terror law is how deliberately vague, general and encompassing the definitions of 'terrorism' and 'terrorist' are," he added.

"Even the candidates of the Genuine Opposition and their supporters can be labeled terrorist and charged with terrorism using planted evidence and false testimonies on the mere whim of this paranoiac government and trigger-happy military."


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