[News] Filipino Advocates Now an Endangered Species

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jun 6 08:29:09 EDT 2006


Date: Sat, 3 Jun 2006 02:57:45 -0700 (PDT)
From: Roland Simbulan <ambogs at yahoo.com>

Subject: [philiraqsolidarity] Filipino Advocates Now an Endangered Species

Filipino Advocates Now an Endangered Species

Dear Colleagues in the U.P. Faculty:

             State Terrorism is now a fact of life in our 
country.   Since Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed power in 2001, no 
less than 224 Filipino advocates journalists, and activists have been 
assassinated by motorcycle-riding death squads in various parts of 
the country.   The pattern of the killings is starkly clear:  critics 
of the government who are lawyers, journalists, priests and 
ministers, labor leaders, peasant organizers, teachers and student 
leaders are being liquidated by professional hitmen. All the victims 
are legal opposition personalities who have been branded or tagged as 
"leftists" or members of what certain government, the military and 
police officials call "legal fronts of the CPP/NPA".

The pattern of killings is remarkably similar to   "Operation 
Phoenix", launched by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in South 
Vietnam in the late 60s.  Lists of suspected Communists or Communist 
sympathizers were given by the CIA to professional hit men, thugs and 
even criminals serving sentences who were released to do the dirty 
jobs for the military and police.   As many as 40,000 suspected 
members or sympathizers of the South Vietnam National Liberation 
Front (SV-NLF) were abducted and assassinated in an attempt to 
physically wipe out the "political infrastructure" of the Vietnamese 
"insurgency".

Similar patterns of counter-insurgency and "anti-terror" tactics were 
also replicated in Latin America in the 60s and 70s by the CIA. The 
murderous rampage in Vietnam by the CIA and its local puppets was one 
of the most violent episodes of the Vietnam War.   But it failed to 
accomplish its objectives.  In 1975, the Vietnamese people finally 
defeated the U.S. military aggressors and their South Vietnamese 
puppets and finally liberated South Vietnam to establish the 
Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

  Given the closer covert and overt coordination and cooperation of 
the   U.S. special operations forces and Philippine military and 
police agencies in the "anti-terror" campaign as never seen 
before,  it is impossible for them not to have a hand in this.   The 
manner and pattern of killings today are even worse than the 
vigilante killings in the country that occurred in the late 80s 
against members and leaders of people's organizations and 
NGOs.   They are meant to silence legal critics and the open 
opposition to the creeping dictatorship and the "Cha-Cha "locomotive 
train".  The killings are a threat to the very existence of democracy 
which should guarantee freedom of speech, assembly and the right to 
freely organize for grievances and social change.  Political killings 
of legal personalities will not only permanently sabotage the peace 
process, but will further fuel the armed insurgency as the legal 
option diminishes.

Advocates and social reformers are now an endangered species in this 
country.   If the government is not really a party to this state of 
terror as it claims, then it should put a stop to these killings and 
assassinations of its citizens.   The government must enforce law and 
order and provide protection to all its citizens, including its 
staunchest critics and those in the opposition.  Government has no 
right to exist if it is   inutile in carrying out the most basic 
duties of a state.

The University faculty must close ranks with other sectors of society 
in ensuring that that we have an government that can provide 
protection to all its citizens, and not one that threatens their 
lives or their very existence.

Roland G. Simbulan
Professor and Faculty Regent








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