December 31, 2006 · Posted in: Human Rights, In the News

The killings continue

POLITICAL killings in the country have reached a critical point, with over 200 murders recorded this year.

It’s the highest number that has been tallied since the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in 1986, according to the human rights alliance Karapatan.

After a recent spate of extrajudicial killings, Karapatan revised figures it had previously released in its year-end report. The group says that 206 people have been killed this year, 99 of whom are activists.

Read the full report here.

Rodolfo “Pong” Alvarado, the sixth Bayan Muna nominee for party-list representative and its Bicol regional chair, was shot dead this afternoon. He became the highest ranking activist to be killed, according to Bayan Muna.

Alvarado’s death is the latest in a series of killings which has targeted leftist leaders, human rights workers, journalists, politicians, lawyers, and members of the clergy. Other high-profile victims include Iglesia Filipina Independiente bishop Alberto Ramento, Abra Representative Luis Bersamin, and senior government lawyer Nestor Ballacillo.

The Commission on Human Rights has called the current situation a crisis. Dr. Purificacion Quisumbing, CHR chairperson, even said that the government’s “apparent failure to address the killings in a timely manner reinforces beliefs that it encouraged these killings.”

Despite the creation of Task Force Usig and the Melo Commission, killings have continued. This has drawn heavy criticism from Amnesty International, the European Union, Canadian human rights wokers, and other international observers.

Human rights groups have tagged the military as the perpetrators behind many of the killings. Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police has pinned the blame on an internal purge within the Communist Party of the Philippine, a charge that has been denied by the New People’s Army.

In its 23-page report, Karapatan identified several trends, including:

  • impunity in extrajudicial killings
  • alarming increase in abductions and enforced disappearances
  • reign of terror in rural areas
  • intensifying trade union repressions
  • filing false charges to justify illegal arrest and detention and harass critics
  • curtailing civil liberties

8 Responses to The killings continue



January 1st, 2007 at 9:09 am

I wish political killings in the Philippines for 2007 would target those who deserve to die like Ferdinand Marcos et al.

I envy Iraq (no matter what the circumstances were) for hanging their ex-dictator.


Promdi — Philippine politics, current affairs, society and culture » And the killings continue…

January 1st, 2007 at 11:03 am

[…] Already, President Arroyo has proven herself to be no better than the dictator Marcos, with more than 200 political killings in 2006 alone. […]


normandy bautista

January 1st, 2007 at 11:17 am

Such is expected for no State / Govt have voluntarily gave up its powers or rebuke the pleasures of such powers.

Only by force will the State give up its powers iether through only two means , by a peaceful force of civil disobedience or a more violent revolution by the majority of the citizenry.

But come to think of it, majority of Filipinos are docile and would rather avoid confrontation than to assert its right as a sovereign people and therefore those two means will never happen in the Philippines.

Remember that it took 300 years for the Filipinos to revolt against Spanish oppression. Such is the character of forebearance or rather stupidity of the Filipinos as a people, majority that is.

If we have a corrupt government for so long , maybe it is what we deserve as a people.

Do we have to be ENSLAVED first before we can really become FREEMEN?



January 2nd, 2007 at 4:10 pm

Noong hindi pa pumapasok ang ideolohiyang komunismo sa ating bansa, ang patayan ay nagaganap lamang sa pagitan ng magkakatunggali sa pulitika..nasasangkot ang militar dahil ang ilan sa kanila ay napagagamit sa mga tiwaling pulitiko… Sa ngayon ang patayan ay nahahati sa 3 bahagi … 1 … pagitan ng komunista at mga sumisimpatiya at militar.. 2… sa pagitan ng pulitiko sa kapwa pulitiko … (damay ang mga private army at mga militar) dahil sila ang nagsasagawa ng pagpatay…3… komunista laban sa kapwa nila komunista at militar laban sa militar at pulitiko laban sa kapwa pulitiko…. Sa madaling salita…LABO LABO matira ang matibay…Wala na ang prinsipyong ipinaglalaban ng isang pulitiko, ng isang militar at ng isang komunista. Ang lahat ay nauwi sa walang katapusang pagkitil sa buhay ng bawat isa….At sa ngayon ay hindi na natin matukoy kung sino talaga ang pumatay, i.e isang pulitiko…Dahil 3 anggulo ang dapat suriin bago mo sabihing pinatay ni Ponso si Toto (militar, komunista, pulitiko)at marahil ay may iba pang kaakibat na dahilan.. i.e personal etc.



January 10th, 2007 at 7:47 am

Normandy bautista you’re right about “forebearance” but “stupidity” isn’t the word that i’d use to explain the weakness of Pinoys.

If you follow what’s happening, there are in fact a thousands of activists protesting out there!!

What makes it hard for the people the majority to rise against the governement as a whole is LACK OF UNITY in geographical terms, luzon-visayas-mindano), sociodemographic terms (poor rich middle)…

The elite classes have smartly managed to divide and conquer the masses through media propaganda and partisanship (nationalists vs pro-USA, left vs. business class, rich vs. poor, province vs. manila etc…)

Lies lies lies

So instead of “stupidity” i’d say great communication-manipulation-ownage skills (Why are some US PR Firms on the payroll of the arroyo administration??)

of a FEW leading to ignorance and submission of many.


normandy bautista

January 30th, 2007 at 12:17 pm

To Francis Lantin:

Just read your comment to my comment today Jan. 29 , 2007.

These are the only things I can say more.

It is true that there are many out there fighting but what I am driving at is a NUMERICAL STRENGTH OF CHARACTER AS A PEOPLE who can make a difference, not only just a few thousands , probably like you ,fighting out there. ( The twist here is that to have such a NUMERICAL STRENGTH , the masses have to be involved not just those of the middle class , which you probably belong as I can sense).

I have never seen Filipinos , NUMERICALLY STRONG IN NUMBERS WHO CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE, who have shed their sheeplike instincts and habits and who have learned to ACT and THINK FREELY and who have destroyed within themselves the idea of authority and obedience.

The struggle to real freedom begins at a certain point at a certain number of few people one day at a time until such a numerical strength is attained. But how many do you think are converted / changed each day?

Now it would probably explain to you now why it took 300 years of slavery for the Filipinos to revolt? It it might take the same time or even longer for another to occur.

Those in power will stay in power for simple reason that they have more resources available at their disposal to quell any opposition against them and yes , THEY ARE MORE PROTECTIVE AND MORE ZEALOUS TO ACT than other Filipinos.

Your excuse that the govt employs PR firms to misinform thus hold the people in grip is unacceptable. Naturally they will do this things as expected to keep themselves in power.

But we have means and ways to thwart these actions, which are just before our eyes but , only because we are so “stupid” that we NOT been zealous to use them.

As the Filipino saying goes “bahala na”.


INSIDE PCIJ » Where is the Melo report?

February 6th, 2007 at 7:29 pm

[…] One of the recommendations of the 89-page report is that military commanders are mainly responsible for extra-judicial killings. Majority of the victims were leftist activists. Retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan is among the officers mentioned in the report, according to former Supreme Court justice Jose Melo, who heads the Melo commission. […]


INSIDE PCIJ » Military must admit extrajudicial killings - UN prober

February 21st, 2007 at 8:16 pm

[…] When it comes to counting the number of extra-judicial killings, figures vary. Karapatan has tallied over 800 vicitms of extra-judicicial killings, while the PNP’s Task Force Usig has only recorded 115 cases. […]

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