16 Political Executions in the ballyhooed “Daang Matuwid” of President Benigno Aquino, Jr.
In just 100 days of his reign, President Benigno ‘PNoy’ Aquino, Jr. has already succeeded in trampling down every little hope that human rights would be rehabilitated and respected. In just 100 days, his reign has already claimed the lives of 16 political dissenters. In just 100 days, his bloody human rights record is about to surpass the ignominious last six months of the much-despised Arroyo regime which executed 18 activists from January to June, 2010.
The most recent case of these beastly acts is the execution of Rene Quirante, leader of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental on Oct. 1, 2010. He was dragged out of the house by soldiers of the 11th Infantry Battalion and shot thrice in the torso. The AFP-CentCom justified the murder by merely branding Quirante as a rebel.
PNoy’s first 100 days is marked not only with political killings, but also abductions, illegal arrests, torture and intensified militarization. Right in the heart of Cebu City, student Elke Bacalso was abducted by CentCom agents on Sept. 4, 2010. He was on interrogated, tortured and transferred from vehicle to vehicle and place to place for two days. Were it not for the swift action of his family and human rights defenders, he would not have been released by his abductors.
Today, there are 383 political prisoners languishing in various military camps and detention cells throughout the country. Among them is Jessie Almenez, who has been castigated and harassed by troops of the 302nd Infantry Brigade since 2003.
Like his predecessor, PNoy hailed respect for human rights as cornerstone of his government. But just like his predecessor, he prances idly by as the killings intensify.
There could have been a reprieve from his much-hyped and haphazardly formed “Truth Commission,” until he decided human rights violations will not be covered in its investigation.
PNoy actually hailed his predecessor and her militarist policies when he extended Gloria’s murderous “Oplan Bantay Laya” security program under the thinly-veiled “rights-based” military operations.
This early, we are raising the flag of vigilance against militarist trend of the present dispensation. We are sounding the alarm over the rising spate of killings and others human rights violations. We are calling on all freedom-loving citizens to defend our basic liberties as we march defiantly against an unjust order.###