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Opinion Editorials, February 2009


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Kawagib Moro Human Rights Organization continues calls on GMA’s ouster amid EDSA revolution memorial, February 28, 2009


  Kawagib Moro Human Rights activists' demonstration  

Moro Human Rights group continues calls on GMA’s ouster amid EDSA rev memorial
As the Filipino people relive today the 1986 EDSA revolution, the Kawagib Moro Human Rights Organization issued a strong condemnation of the regime of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for trampling on the spirit of the EDSA People Power.
Kawagib joins other progressive groups in calling for the ouster of GMA.
The group is appalled by a statement made earlier by Arroyo claiming that another People Power would be unacceptable in the eyes of the international community and the event which has brought her to power, EDSA II, was merely “tolerated” by the world.
“It’s quite ironic that she is discrediting the very thing that has, quite unfortunately, brought her to power. Filipinos must never hesitate to come together to bring down a corrupt and repressive regime at any point in history. It doesn’t matter how many times we have to do it if only to safeguard our basic rights and freedom,” Kawagib spokesperson Bai Ali Indayla said.
The group is convinced of an ‘undeclared martial law’ existing in the country today. “Never in recent history of the country has human rights violations and political repression been so rampant and largely left unpunished. The current regime is reminiscent of the martial law era,” Indayla said..
She cites the growing number of extra-judicial killings, enforced disappearances and harassments of people critical of the Arroyo administration and even of those who are thought to be so. 
Just about a week ago, a nun, Sister Stella Matutina, and three other companions from the environmental group Panalipdan were harassed by elements of the army’s 67th Infantry Battalion in the Barangay Hall of Taytayan, Cateel, Davao Oriental.
“It’s very disturbing to know that the military can do this to a nun. Ordinary individuals who cannot defend their rights could suffer worse,” Indayla said.
Indayla herself has been a subject of recent government surveillance, which the group greatly condemns. 
“This government is sending a message that none of its critics will be safe from harassment and human rights violations it itself perpetrates,” she said. Indayla said they are taken aback and dismayed by the government’s lack of concern to the basic rights of ordinary civilians. 
Further, Kawagib denounced the all-out war policy launched by the Arroyo regime in the face of the stalled peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The war has ravaged the lives of thousands of innocent civilians in Mindanao.
The efforts of the current regime to protect press freedom and stop the killing of journalists have also been nothing but superficial. Ernie Rollin, a radio commentator, of Ozamiz City became the latest journalist to be murdered – making him the 1st journalist in the country killed this year and the 63rd since Arroyo came to power in 2001.  
“There are growing and valid indications that this government is either tolerating or perpetrating human rights violations. As freedom-loving Filipinos and in the spirit of the EDSA revolution, we cannot allow it to continue its reign of terror,” Indayla said. 




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