Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   1 comment

OpEdNews Op Eds

Philippine Extra-Judicial Killings Continue, Obama's Response In Question

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to None 3/31/09

On March 23rd, Sabina Ariola, the leader of "Citizens for Excellence, Progress, Peace towards the Country's Great Future," was gunned down. She is the 992nd civilian to be killed in the ongoing spree of extra-judicial killings that have been occurring since 2001, when Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed the presidency. Another particularly despicable killing that occurred in March was that of Rebelyn Pitao, a 20 year old teacher in Davao, southern Philippines. She was tortured, raped, strangled and stabbed according to Alan Davis of the Philippine Human Rights Recording Project.
 
The apparent reason was "guilt" by association as her father is Leoncio Pitao, a leader in the local New Peoples Army contingent in Mindanao. All of these murders demand justice, but the Rebelyn Pitao case screams it. At the same time, Kaeapatan, the Philippines leading human rights organization, reports that politically motivated killings are up during the first three months of this year. Two in January, seven in February and seven more in March have occurred.
 
Aside from the 992 extra-judicial killings, there are 193 people who have disappeared under the Arroyo administration. In observing and following news out of the Philippines, one cannot help but be reminded of Pinochet's Chile due to the overall situation. 

Among the targets for the slaughter, journalists and media people have been a constant target, along with clergy people, labor leaders, advocates for the poor, those challenging foreign ownership and control of Philippine mines, farmers and fishermen. Under the Arroyo administration (since 2001), a number of children have also been killed, as well as 64 journalists or media people, both men and women.
 
This noted, the Committee to Protect Journalists, A New York based advocate organization, ranks the Philippines 6th amongst the 14 most dangerous countries for journalists. (The rankings are 1-Iraq, 2-Sierra Leone, 3-Somalia, 4-Sri Lanka, 5-Columbia ,6-Philippines, 7-Afghanistan, 8-Nepal, 9-Russia ,10-Pakistan, 11-Mexico ,12-Bangladesh, 13-Brazil and 14-India.)

Meanwhile, the U.S. has controlled Philippine politics, its military and most of its resources since Theodore Roosevelt's presidency. At the same time, many of the individuals targeted for assassination, disappearance or harassment have been victimized solely for openly speaking out against colonialism and exploitation.
 
Moreover, the U.S. has indirect influence and a significant amount of control over Filipino affairs through its funding, arming and training of the Philippine military and its national police.  Indeed, the U.S. has been training the Philippine military (AFP) for decades through its International Military Education and Training program or IMET and its Joint Combined Exchange Training program or JCET.
 
These programs have been used with some success in the "war on terror." Yet as I wrote in a report a couple of years ago [1], the U.S. war on terror in the Philippines has become a war of terror against the Philippine people. On account, I encourage Americans, Filipinos and all others of good will to voice their opinions and concerns about this grave matter. Similarly, I recommend that they demand a cessation of all military aid, training and funding by the U.S. government until Philippine and U.S. government representatives, along with independent human rights observers, can verify that Philippine civilians, all of them, are safe, free to pursue their dreams and have justice without the sorts of outrageous assaults that they, currently, confront.
 
Please contact:
 
1. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Malacanang Palace
JP Laurel Street, San Miguel
Manila 1005
corres@op.gov.ph
 
2. President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20500
comments-202-456-1111
electronic comments http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
 
References:
 
[1] "The Philippines: Where the "War on Terror" has become the War of Terror" at http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/5230/.

 

I am a Free-lance writer/researcher who lives in Michigan. I lived most of my life in Michigan but have also lived in California (from 1980 to 1988) and in Washington state from '78 to '79. I met and married a Thai woman while I was in California. (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Michelle Bachelet Favored To Win In Chilean Presidential Election

The U.S. Health Care System-Values and Priorities

6.6 Million Children Under the Age of Five Died Last Year from Mostly Easily Treatable Diseases

Bush's False Analogies between Vietnam and Iraq

Too Few Aware of World Orphan Week

Nelson Mandela Will Live On As A Beacon For Social Justice

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Why is it that everywhere there is trouble in the ... by Archie on Wednesday, Apr 1, 2009 at 1:06:02 PM