The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) condemned the latest series of attacks by suspected state agents against individuals critical or opposed to the anti-people policies and programs of the Arroyo administration.

Bayan cited the killing of Celso Pojas, spokesperson of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas-Southern Mindanao Region; the abduction and torture of Randy Malayao, former vice president for Visayas of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) and a consultant of the National Democratic Front (NDF) for Cagayan Valley, the harassment and physical threats against Glaiza Dimapilis, incoming president of the Philippine Christian University (PCU) Student Government and harassment and attempts to recruit Arman Albarillo Bayan-Southern Tagalog secretary general, as a military agent.

Dr. Carol Araullo, Bayan chairperson, said, “All these incidents happened in just one month. We have every reason to believe that state agents and state apparatuses are behind this latest wave of attacks. Clearly, the US-Arroyo regime, in the wake of the rapidly worsening economic crisis, has not ceased to use politically repressive measures in an attempt to stifle social unrest and curb the protest movement. ”

Araullo underscored the increasing reports of attempts to recruit Bayan leaders and other social activists into the military intelligence network coupled by intense harassment including death threats directed against them, their families and their groups. “The Arroyo government wants to win the hearts and minds of the people by pointing a gun to their heads; her call for peace and unity is as fake as her claim to having been elected president in 2004, ” she said.

Araullo also cited the recent filing of trumped-up murder charges against progressive party list representatives Liza Maza, Rafael Mariano, Teddy Casino and Satur Ocampo and the warrant of arrest for Lingayen Archbishop Oscar Cruz on an old and flimsy charge of libeling President Arroyo and the First Gentleman.

“Even the ongoing tirade by Mrs. Arroyo’s subalterns and allies against the Lopez-owned Meralco are not so much about bringing down the price of electricity but of neutralizing a major media network that has becomes increasingly critical of Mrs. Arroyo and her administration. The common denominator is that all of these individuals and the organizations they are identified with have been vocal against the rotten and despotic US-Arroyo regime,” Araullo said.

Araullo added, “We believe that these latest cases of political repression form part and parcel of the counter-insurgency programs Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) I and II, initially denied by the AFP as in existence but now proclaimed by the military top brass to be the blueprint for crushing the communist-led revolutionary movement by 2010. OBL I and II have been correctly identified by United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston as the operational framework for the rise in extrajudicial killings and rights abuses under the Arroyo regime.”

In her speech during the Change of Command Ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on May 12, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said to Gen. Alexander Yano, “You are expected to bring the anti-insurgency campaign as I said, from its snowball (sic) to an avalanche towards the defeat of the rebels by 2010.”

Araullo said, “For Mrs. Arroyo, all Filipinos who are calling for her resignation or ouster are so-called enemies of the state. Her deep paranoia is only matched by her greed and desperation to stay in power.”#

[Posted in BAYAN WEBSITE on 21 May 2008]


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