Under Gloria Arroyo, a bill that would violate the privacy and other basic human rights of Pinoy internet users was proposed, railroaded, and almost passed. Now, similar legislation is being proposed by a Senatoriable under a certain presidential candidacy.
Around a thousand activists and their supporters were murdered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines under Gloria Arroyo. More than two hundred were abducted. Thousands of rural dwellers were forced from their homes. Majority of these human rights violations occurred under one Secretary of National Defense, the same man who is now the “legal adviser” of the same candidacy.
Such violations were “justified” by accusing progressive organizations and partylists of being “communist fronts”, as exemplified by the AFP’s “Know Your Enemy” document. The same line is now being used by the spokesperson of the said candidate’s party, as well as a partylist group which is now allied with the same candidate.
I believe the “Noynoy psychiatric report” is fake. I believe the SCTEX issue is no different from the C-5 issue (you don’t believe in one, you shouldn’t believe in the other). I no longer have a problem with his (over)usage of his parents and other related imagery and terminology. I might even forgive his lack of a clear stand and proposals on the issues of education, human rights, and the peace talks.
I have no illusions about Manny Villar or any other presidentiable. Whoever wins, our society’s basics won’t change. There will still be widespread poverty, corruption in all levels of the government, political clans/dynasties will remain entrenched, and the United States will continue to dictate upon most (if not all) aspects of our society’s existence.
But I am still, or rather even more, terrified of a Noynoy Presidency.
Ever wondered why the MAKABAYAN Coalition entered into an alliance with the NP, instead of the Liberal Party? From the very start, the LP ignored the MAKABAYAN upon the urgings of rabid anti-Leftists like Ding Deles, Butch Abad, Dinky Soliman, and Risa Hontiveros (Newsflash: Joey Salceda, Gloria’s long-time economics advisor has just jumped into the LP ship). Some of them, such as Abad and Soliman, are former members of the Arroyo Administration. But once they “joined” the broad anti-Arroyo front, they actively sowed intrigue and worked to isolate the progressive bloc from the rest of the Front.
How about former Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz? His term was from 2004 to 2006, where an extra-judicial killing was committed every five days. That average never occurred under the Marcos dictatorship. Now he’s party of the Noynoy campaign team. Can we expect any different should he become Defense head again, this time under the second Aquino administration?
Yesterday, student leaders from the University of the Philippines and some strikers from Luisita held a rally in front of Noynoy’s residence. What was the response of the LP spokesperson? Aside from the typical “it’s not a legitimate issue, it’s just a paninira“, he said it was part of the “grand design of the CPP-NPA”. Whoa. Let’s name a few other political figures who have called progressive groups as “part of the CPP-NPA”: Jovito Palparan, Hermogenes Esperon, Norberto Gonzales, Ferdinand Marcos. Not exactly a bunch who would be welcome in the CHR.
The most recent is the announcement of LP senatoriable Alex Lacson that there is a need for greater Internet regulation. Of course, it’s laughable since his camp was the one who started the cyber-mudslinging for the 2010 elections. It’s no longer laughable when you consider the other countries who strictly control the Internet: Burma, Iran, China, etc.
Finally, Noynoy’s own pronouncements on the Hacienda Luisita issue are telling. He said the massacre caused by the AFP on Nov. 14, 2004, was justified. He said the blame should go to “communist agitators”, in reference to the peasant federation KMP and progressive groups which trooped from nearby regions to support the farm and refinery workers’ strike. I haven’t memorized either the Phil. Constitution or the Labor Code, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t contain any provisions allowing the military to kill in order to break-up a strike. Even if it was illegal (it wasn’t, the CATLU & ULWU filed the appropriate notice of strike at the Dept. of Labor), the strike should’ve been broken up by the police and the charges should’ve been filed in court against the strike-leaders. And instead of condemning the AFP’s action at the very least as inappropriate, Noynoy tried to justify what happened.
If the defection of Admin officials to the Nacionalista Party gave rise to “Villaroyo”, what do you call a candidate who is surrounded by the most rabid supporters of Gloria’s all-out war against her political opponents and critics?
Do you expect the NDF-GRP and MILF-GRP peace talks to resume under such a militarist administration?
Before yesterday, I was very much ambivalent about whom I would vote for President. Now, I’m a bit less uncertain. I will certainly vote for the resumption of the peace talks. I will certainly vote to end the military’s reign of terror. I will certainly vote to ensure the perpetrators of human rights violations under Gloria are punished. I will vote to ensure Noynoy Aquino will not win on May 10.