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Arroyo Cannot be Expected to Comply with Memorandum of Amnesty International

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
16 September 2006

Driven by self-interest and malice, Gloria M. Arroyo cannot be expected to comply with the memorandum of the Amnesty International for ensuring that the Melo commission is transparent, its investigation is independently conducted and leads to accountability and justice for the victims, in accordance with international standards and principles of inquiry for independent commissions on human rights violations.

In the first place, the extrajudicial killings and adductions of unarmed legal activists who oppose the Arroyo regime have been perpetrated with impunity by the military, police and death squads within the framework of Oplan Bantay Laya under the US-dictated policy of "anti-terrorism" and have served Arroyo in her drive to suppress opposition and to retain power.

Arroyo created the Melo commission in a futile attempt to counter the findings and conclusions of fact-finding missions of local and international human rights organizations, churches and professional organizations of journalists, lawyers and others and to mislead the people of the Philippines and the world who have been outraged by the extrajudicial killings and abductions.

The Melo commission is a complete creature and tool of Arroyo. It consists mostly of barefaced flunkeys of her regime. Its measly funding comes from one of the departments under Arroyo. It depends on the sham investigation and disinformation done by the military and police forces that are the ones accused of the extrajudicial killings and abductions by the surviving victims and the colleagues, close relative and friends of those who have been murdered or disappeared.

The Melo commission has not given priority to looking into the complaints about 752 victims of extrajudicial killings and 185 abductions of leaders of party list groups, trade unionists, peasants, youth and students, women, journalists, human rights advocates, lawyers, judges, priests and pastors and other victims. The cases of these are well-documented by the human rights organizations independent of the Arroyo regime.

But the Melo commission has given highest priority to giving AFP chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon a platform for asserting that the military establishment is innocent of the extrajudicial killings and abductions and for slandering the revolutionary forces and putting the blame on them. The commission has also given the PNP Task Force Usig the platform for peddling the patent lie that 36 per cent of the aforesaid crimes are committed by the revolutionary forces.

The brazen lie of the reactionary military and police that the revolutionary forces kill and abduct progressive legal activists is calculated to facilitate further extrajudicial killings and abductions. This crime of bloody intrigue was a favorite dirty tactic of US psywar experts in the Phoenix Program in Vietnam in the 1960s. The Melo commission is designed to justify further extrajudicial killings and abductions and not to stop them. The people have better chances of seeking justice by engaging in various forms of struggle and ousting the Arroyo regime. ###

JOIN THE GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST POLITICAL KILLINGS IN THE PHILIPPINES ON 21 SEPTEMBER!!!


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