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by PhIlippine Peasant Support Network(Pesante)
Saturday, Sep. 16, 2006 at 6:00 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Philippine Peasant Support Network(Pesante)-USA based in Los Angeles, in a statement issued today, September 14, 2006 vehemently condemns AFP Chief General Esperon’s statement against Ocampo and Casino and other leaders of the progressive mass organizations in the Philippines. “Esperon’s statement is a clear military’s anti communist mind-set. It’s bunker mentality that foments anti-communist with-hunting and a clear signal for the military death squads to go after progressive mass leaders.”
PESANTE CONDEMNS PHILIPPPINE MILITARY RED-BAITING: CALLS BAYAN MUNA'S OCAMPO, CASINO âENEMIES OF THE STATEâ
Los Angeles - Pesante-USA vehemently condemn and denounce AFP Chief General Hermogenes Esperonâs anti-communist witch hunting against Filipino progressive leaders BAYAN MUNA party-list Saturnino OCampo and Teodoro Casino.
The Philippine Peasant Support Network(Pesante)-USA based in Los Angeles, in a statement issued today, September 14, 2006 vehemently criticized Esperonâs statement against Ocampo and Casino and other leaders of the progressive mass organizations in the Philippines.
Philippine military chief of staff, General Hermogenes Esperon yesterday (September 15 in the Philippines) said some party-list representatives, including Satur Ocampo and Teodoro CasiÃ±o, were enemies of the state hiding behind the legitimate cover of their organization, Bayan Muna.
Testifying before the commission formed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to look into extrajudicial executions, General Hermogenes Esperon Jr. also said that the AFPâs âtotal warâ policy did not include political killings.
â The AFP Chief of staff , using the commission as a venue to vent his antic-communist views and to counter charges against the AFPâ, Pesante said. The AFP chief charged that the New Peopleâs Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), was responsible for the deaths of 843 civilians since Ms Arroyo assumed the presidency in 2001.These charges are preposterous.â The Pesante-USA statement exclaimed
Human rights groups in the Philippines and abroad like the Amnesty International have reported around 700 political slayings and said the military and police were behind them. The Inquirer has listed 247 assassinations.
AFP Propagandize at the Melo Commission
The five-member commission headed by retired Supreme Court Justice Jose Melo held its second hearing amid reports that Finland and Spain were sending teams to monitor the spate of killings in the country.The presence of foreign monitoring teams at the invitation of the Philippine government should âerase misconceptions that the government is not doing anything significantly to cope with the situation,â Melo said.
During the hearing, an Inquirer report â one of the main Manila newspaper was read to Esperon. In it, retired Major General Jovito Palparan was quoted as saying that party-list groups were nothing more than communist fronts and that CasiÃ±o and Ocampo were âenemies of the state.â
Esperon was asked if Palparanâs view was shared by the entire AFP. Esperon said that he considered the CPP, the NPA and the National Democratic Front (NDF) as âenemies of the state.â
âWe are a democratic society and they are trying to overthrow the democratic system through violent means,â Esperon said.He said that while leftist organizations, such as Bayan Muna, were not enemies of the state, some of their members belonged to the CPP-NPA-NDF, âconveniently hiding behind the legitimate cover.â
If Palparan had tagged Ocampo an âenemy of the state,â Esperon said this was based on Ocampoâs membership in the CPP-NPA in the 1970s. âHe was prompted by Ocampoâs past,â Esperon said.
Pesante scored Esperonâs jeremiads: âEsperonâs statement is a clear militaryâs anti communist mind-set. Itâs bunker mentality that foments anti-communist with-hunting and a clear signal for the military death squads to go after progressive mass leaders.â
âItâs essentially doublespeak. While they are professing respect for human rights, they are hunting down activists, denouncing them as âenemies of the stateâ like what Esperon has just done in front of the Melo Commission rendering inutile all pretensions of a sense of fair play and even going to the motions of fact-finding.â
âWhat can we expect from a Gloria cheater in the last election but to act as a pretorian guard for the fake president who relies on facist men like Esperon to stay in power? Pesante-USA statement ended.
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