More on extra-judicial killings in the Philippines

This is from today's Daily Tribune a leftist Manila newspaper. THe article exhibits the leftist view that the killings are sanctioned by and part of offical government policy. The shrill tone is typical of this newspaper. It has been charged with sedition in the past. I don't know whatever happened to the charges.

Palparan: Gloria and Esperon’s sacred cow



There is no way Gloria Arroyo will press charges against Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan (ret) and other senior officers said to be involved in the political killings, much less go by the doctrine of command responsibility, pointing to, at the very least, the military brass, and at most, to her, as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Commander-in-Chief.

No way at all, since her political survival hinges on her prostituted generals’ support, and if she as much as fails to provide them protection from their illegal acts, Gloria knows she and her government will collapse, in the wink of an eye.

To prosecute Palparan would be suicidal for Gloria, since the move would send danger signals to the military brass, who are seen to be just as involved in these political killings of the legal leftists, activists and journalists.

The political murders of these civilians have gone on for so long without Gloria and her AFP generals doing a thing to prevent them. And when it happens, there is no word of condemnation from either Gloria or her prostituted military and police.

They certainly knew what was going on and just who in the military, and in Malacañang, were into these killings. If this was done without the knowledge and consent of Gloria and her AFP generals — all the way to the top military dog — there would have been, at the very least, an official order to put a stop to these extra-judicial killings while ordering the AFP to conduct a probe of these summary executions. But nothing of that sort ever occurred. Instead, many times over, the AFP chief, whether it was Gen. Generoso Senga or Gen. Hermogenes Esperon Jr., kept on claiming that the military was not involved in these political murders and always pointed to the communist insurgents as having killed their members on a purging spree. And this line was definitely upheld by Gloria, who, just as many times over, pointed to the leftists as the assassins and enemies of the state.

Yet even as international pressure was bearing down on her to direct her military to stop these killings, Gloria never once did it. All she claimed then, and continues to claim even now, is that she does not condone these extra-judicial killings. She has never once ordered her military to stop these assassinations even as the number of those slain and disappearances of activists grew alarmingly.

It is on record that even as the extra-judicial killings were taking place at an almost daily basis, with the finger pointing to Palparan as the instigator, Gloria, in her State of the Nation Address, still singled out the general, already known as the “butcher,” and praised him for his successful “counter-insurgency” drive.

Surely, they must have already known that the killings were getting out of hand, and that the finger pointed to Palparan. Besides, the killing pattern was clear: Everywhere Palparan was assigned, the killings were on the increase.

Again, to stress, if there was no knowledge and consent of Gloria and the military top brass to these extra-judicial measures practiced by Palparan and his soldiers, a probe could have been ordered conducted by the top brass. Yet Esperon claimed that there never was a probe on Palparan, because, as he said, there were no formal complaints lodged against him by anybody. That is a cop-out. The military bosses do not have to wait for a formal complaint to have any of its officers and men investigated. On the contrary, even without a complaint, the military can conduct a probe. To cite a glaring example, there was no formal complaint, technically speaking, lodged against the military generals, including Esperon, who were involved in the cheating operations in 2004 for Gloria, as mentioned in the infamous “Hello Garci” tape, yet a probe was conducted by the military’s inspector general whose report ended, predictably, sanitized, as all the Gloria generals were absolved of any and all culpability in the electoral fraud. But then again, the inspector-general was rewarded with the top Navy position.

What it really is, is a case of full knowledge and consent from the top, both in Malacañang and the military, of the perpetrators of these extra-judicial killings, with the full intent of covering up the murders committed by the AFP. Even Palparan then and now, is proud in informing the media that, in the course of the counter-insurgency program, he had to inspire people to fight the communists and the “legal Left.” And how were they to fight then, by killing these militants and leaders of legal and above-ground leftists as well as journalists, since he admits that he had inspired people to fight these “enemies of the state?”

Neither Gloria nor Esperon will ever have Palparan and other officers charged, for the simple reason that if they as much as dare do this, Palparan will not take the raps all by his lonesome. He knows more than he is telling.


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