Gonzales dared to appear before Senate probe on killings

Jun. 20, 2007

MANILA — The umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan dared National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales to face any senate probe on extrajudicial killings if he really has nothing to fear and nothing to hide.

Bayan secretary general Renato M. Reyes, Jr. said that Gonzales is the number one purveyor of the policy of extrajudicial killings, abductions and repression in the Arroyo cabinet.

If he says that Malacanang has nothing to fear in a Trillanes probe on extrajudicial killings, then let him be the first one to face the probe. He shouldnt hide behind executive privilege nor invoke national security matters when he is called to testify. He has a lot of explaining to do with the current government policy versus the legal Left, Reyes said.

Gonzales holds the view that all legal leftist groups are communist fronts and that the only good communist is a dead communist. He is the key to the government policy on the killings. This is a known fact, Reyes said.

Reyes said that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo should not prevent Gonzales from testifying before the Senate probe. Arroyos cooperation in the probe is important. If she prevents Gonzales or any cabinet member or military officer from testifying, then will show that the executive is trying to hide something.

Investigate Knowing the Enemy, AFP Order of Battle

Bayan also called on the Senate and even the Melo Commission to re-examine the military document called Knowing the Enemy to get leads on how policy is being formulated at the highest levels. The group said that the document will show that a policy on extrajudicial killings does exist.

It is not true that there is no policy. The AFP document Knowing the Enemy explicitly recommends that apart from armed groups, the legal Left should also be the target of military operations. There is also the book Trinity of War published by the AFP Northern Luzon Command which shows the legal Left as communist fronts, Reyes pointed out.

These are all policy pronouncements as far as were concerned. The communist labeling of legal activists is itself a policy that encourages extrajudicial killings, Reyes added.

Reyes explained that these policy recommendations have been embodied in the counter-insurgency plan known as Oplan Bantay Laya 1 and 2. He also said that the AFP uses an Order of Battle which lists activist targets. The OB list was also mentioned by United Nations Special Rapporteur Philip Alston in his preliminary report to the UN Human Rights Council.

It was only during the implementation of these programs that the killings of activists escalated. Clearly there is a connection between governments counter-insurgency plan and the extrajudicial killings, the Bayan leader said. ###

IMPORTANT NOTICE: INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to davaotoday @ gmail.com. Davao Today is not responsible for the content of these materials. The opinion expessed in these items does not reflect those of Davao Today and its staff. Please refer to our terms of use/disclaimer.

comments powered by Disqus