|Gov't unable to stop political killings due to GMA's loose control over military|
|Written by Administrator|
|Tuesday, 08 May 2007 03:00|
Senate Minority Leader Aquilino "Nene" Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has failed to stop extrajudicial killings of leftist activists in the country because she is unable to control some officers running the Armed Forces who are suspected to be responsible for these heinous crimes that are linked to the counter-insurgency campaign.
Pimentel said that because of unresolved doubts over the legitimacy of her presidency, Mrs. Arroyo heavily relies on the armed components of government power to stabilize her administration.
He said that the President can no longer bank on the time-honored democratic principle of the Rule of Law but instead now uses the time-tested totalitarian principle that power flows out of the barrel of the gun.
"The President is unable to stop corruption or the extrajudicial killings because she and some of the officers of the armed forces and the police mutually benefit from the situation," the minority leader said.
"Through their guns, select officers assure her stay in power and while in power, she in turn takes cares of them. It is a classic case of I scratch your back, you scratch mine."
Pimentel said the President earns the support of the top echelon of the armed forces and the police by assuring them of funds - officially and sometimes, unofficially while they are in office. And after their retirement from the service, he said juicy civilian posts await them at the discretion of the President.
These political acrobatics, he said, buy time for the President in that for the moment, she exercises a semblance of control over the privileged of officers.
"Malacañang watchers, however, think that it is she who is controlled by the officers," he said. "That is why the militarization of the barangays even in the metropolis goes on despite the failure to comply with the constitutional mandate that, among other things, leaves the maintenance of law and order not to armed forces but to the civilian authorities that run the police."
Pimentel said this also explains why there has been no serious effort to weed out corruption from the ranks of the armed forces and the police.
Through armalites of select officers, he said the President prevents the people from airing their grievances against the administration even in a peaceful manner.
In the guise of maintaining order, she trashes the constitutional rights of the people to free speech and peaceful assembly, the minority leader said.
"It is the armalite-wielding men who abduct protestors against government policies. Some of the victims wind up in military or police safe houses where they are tortured and subjected to indignities. Others simply disappear," Pimentel said. "And as everybody in this country knows, it is also the armalite-wielding hoodlums who commit extrajudicial killings with abandon."
Pimentel said the President has a tenuous hold on power because of lingering allegations that she grabbed power by cheating in the 2004 elections. And because she is an interloper in Malacañang she does not have the support of the people, he added.