State probe of extrajudicial killings: Another lip service?

Arroyo has signified her concern over the spate of extra-judicial killings of social and political activists. Ermita quoted her as saying: “Look for them and account for them, and for the police, the investigating agency, to hasten the investigation so we shall be able to put to rest these spate of killings.”

But Ermita was quick to point out the possibility for the involvement of the ‘communists’ in the killings. This is major cause of our worry: Instead of facing the problem of political killings more objectively, the premise tends to limit the issue to the “culpability” of the left movements. The Amnesty International raised this concern in its recent statement.

According to the AI, there are more than 500 activists and their supporters who have been killed since Arroyo took power in 2001.

Are the Arroyo government and its apparatuses dead serious about solving the problem of extrajudicial killings? In my books, no.

I believe that behind the pattern of murder of the leftist groups is an implicit state policy that wants rebellion curbed by all means. Seeing the failure of peace talks with the CPP-NDF, Arroyo has said it several times in serveral ways and in several occasions: Intensify war on the underground left movement. Implicit to that statement is “don’t spare those identified with it and others with the agenda of overthrowing my government.”

That policy has just been implemented. Just in the news today, the AFP confirmed that it was behind the “disappearance” of five persons believed to be supporters of ousted President Erap Estrada. It further said that government has filed rebellion charges against all five.

There is no way that the police will turn over their men (who else? I wonder if policewomen are also capable of this) involved in the killings to proper authorities for investigation. Neither the military. There is no way the “guilty” will admit to something that they think is not detestable after all. They just did what the policy told them to do.

So how about the universal policy of humanity: respect and fulfillment of human rights? Will this out-rule the war-on-those-wanting-to-overthrow-Arroyo- government?

And how about the killings of organized farmers, who were themselves social activists, but killed especially based on the unwritten policy by the landlords: “Eradicate those who want our vast lands taken from us!”?

I don’t think the Arroyo government WILL resolve this political complex. I don’t think it CAN resolve it, either. After what she has done to the mining issue, she is now set to pay another lip service: respect of human rights.

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