Militant Groups Slam Arroyo For Burma Statement

September 30, 2007 at 5:09 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo waves to well-wisher during her arrival from New York, United States of America (Sept. 30) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City. With the president in photo are Immigration Commissioner Marcelino Libanan, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita and Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr. (Luisito Iglesias/OPS-NIB)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner/ Sept. 30) – Two Filipino political groups on Sunday have criticized President Gloria Arroyo for calling on Myanmar to free pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners while political killings still continue in the Philippines.

“The economic and political crisis in Myanmar, which triggered series of protests tackling variety of issues from oil price increases and human rights violations, is similar to what the Filipinos are experiencing under the Arroyo administration,” said Jeppie Ramada, a spokesman for the group Bagong Alayansang Makabayan (BAYAN) in southern Philippines.

Ramada said Arroyo’s statements in the 62nd United nations General Assembly urging Myanmar “to go back to the path of democracy,” are mere rhetoric that contradict the human rights problems in the Philippines.

“With Arroyo’s speech in the United Nations General Assembly centered on Myanmar’s atrocities, it only manifests that she’s trying to evade and divert the issue of political killings in the Philippines.”

“Instead of answering allegations of political persecution in her own country, she managed to wipe the dirt into her fellow dictators in Myanmar. She has lost the moral ascendancy to talk about human rights violations since 2001, when hundreds of activists summarily executed,” Ramada said.

The militant women’s group, GABRIELA, also branded Arroyo’s statements as hypocritical and ironic.

“Mrs. Arroyo’s statements are attempts to cover up her regime’s murderous record on extra judicial killings and disappearances, amid much international criticism over the human rights crisis in the country.”

“This duplicitous show of support for Aung San Suu Kyi and the pro-democracy movement in Burma is mortifying. Mrs. Arroyo even had the gall to summon women power for the Burmese leader when in her own country, her repressive policies are the very hindrance to women power,” Rep. Liza Maza said.

Maza said that human rights documentation in the country since Arroyo assumed office in 2001 indicate that 96 women have fallen victims to extrajudicial killings and 31 have disappeared.

Under Arroyo, the Philippines have had 22 women political prisoners, many of them in conditions no different from Suu Kyi, she said.

“No different from the military junta in Burma, Mrs. Arroyo has led the violent dispersal of protests with her calibrated pre-emptive response. She has led attempts to silence critics with her Proclamation 1017 and deny Filipinos the truth behind the rampage of corruption in her administration with EO 464. Certainly, her two-faced statements cannot hide her bloody record from the international community,” Maza said. (Mindanao Examiner)


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