The Degenerate Under her Regenerating Obligation to Recompense for her Human Rights Violations and Crimes Committed Against the Filipino People

Patnubay de Guia
NDF-Southern Tagalog
June 18, 2011

On Thursday, July 16, former president and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) was rushed to the hospital due to pinched nerve. On the same day, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) filed a P6-M damage suit against her for extrajudicial killings of five of its members and abduction of another one during her term as president. UCCP filed the complaint through its general secretary and executive officer Bishop Reuel Norman Marigza.  According to the 18-page complaint, "numerous church pastors and leaders were either liquidated, harassed, unlawfully detained or tortured with impunity by military agents and operatives, who, by law, were then all under her ultimate control and command responsibility."

Not really counting her pinched nerve problem that normally comes with aging, Arroyo had it coming. As the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) during her term as president, the extra-judicial killings of UCCP's Christian Witness Program chairman Noel Capulong in Calamba, Laguna and UCCP pastor Andy Pawican both killed on 2006; UCCP disaster relief program coordinator Joel Baclao Sr. and UCCP pastor Raul Domingo both killed on 2005; and UCCP pastor Edison Lapuz of Tacloban City killed on 2003 is imputable to her. Arroyo is also liable and should be rendered as such for the abduction of UCCP Pastor Berlin Guerrero on 2007 and for the other 22 UCCP members who suffered human rights violation by military during her presidency.

She had it coming and she is accountable. UCCP righteously places this fact in its true light. As ugly as sin, human rights violations committed against the people are criminal acts that are not pardonable -- acts that merit condemnation and punishment. In truth, Arroyo knew what she and her generals were doing. They should not be forgiven. Lest we forget how Arroyo honored and rewarded the butcher Gen. Palparan with medals and promotions for his achievements crowned in blood of his countless victims.

Under the Arroyo administration a total of 1,991 victims of extrajudicial killings, 205 victims of forcible disappearance, 1,208 victims of torture, and hundreds of thousands displaced in the countryside due to military operations were committed. Based on KARAPATAN data, this staggering figure of human rights violation that supersedes those which were committed during Martial Law is not just another statistic.

That Arroyo can be obliged to recompense for her human rights violations and crimes against the people even out of court will be an overstatement. UCCP's P6-M damage suit against Arroyo is, henceforth, hailed a landmark to prosecute and bring the human rights violators under Arroyo administration to justice. In the interest of the thousands of Filipino people who suffered from violent and persistent attacks of the Arroyo government, the filed lawsuit is an enlightened and advanced step to end the culture of impunity enjoyed by AFP and its intolerance to dissent implicated in extrajudicial killings that takes place up to the present even with Aquino administration replacing Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL) 1 and 2 with Internal Peace and Security Plan-Bayanihan as the latest counter-insurgency program of the AFP.

It was crime against humanity when Arroyo regime unleashed OBL 1 and 2 against the Filipino people--a crime that legitimized civilian killings, forcible disappearance and torture in full spate as well as massive displacement of civilian populace, destruction of livelihood and disruptions of economic activities. It was and is a criminal act, to play deaf to the pleadings of the people to stop the killings and uphold people's civil liberties and political rights.

It will be Aquino administration's crime, too, if it just, as what palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said, "watch with interest" the damage suit filed by UCCP. More often, watching is just that -- watching. It should therefore take the initiative instead of just positioning itself on the sidelines and engaging in endless rhetorics only to mask its intent just like what the past administrations have been doing, instituting safe havens where a herd of degenerates drowned in in ill-gotten wealth finds rest. The incumbent administration's achieving or failing to provide immediate and adequate legal remedy and administer justice for the victims of human rights violations by the fascist Philippine state is a true gauge up to where the bourgeois legal and judicial system is allowed to reach its limits.

In the end, true justice for the victims of a fascist regime will only be achieved not by legal, traditional courses but through a broad and organized struggle deeply rooted among the discriminated, exploited and oppressed masses. Only the revolutionary path to a victorious people's struggle will pave the way for social justice and peace that the Filipino people have long been yearning for -- not only under the Arroyo administration but all the regimes that enforced class oppression and repression in the country.

For Reference: Patnubay de Guia, NDF-Southern Tagalog Spokesperson