Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sagot ni Bobby sa mga Kasama, Esperon at sa Melo Commission

I am trying to figure out the reason why AFP Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon submitted my book, To Suffer thy Comrades to the Melo Commission as evidence. Along with Rocamora's and Jalandoni's book, it supposedly "supported the military contention that it was the CPP-NPA that were behind the (political) killings" over the past five years. My book was published in 2001, and it chronicled the CPP's internal violence in the 1980s, under which I myself suffered. It cannot possibly cover events after it was launched, unless I am gifted with prescience.

But obviously the logic has to do with establishing a pattern, i.e. the CPP-NPA demonstrated the capacity for brutality before, it is not impossible to imagine that they can still do it now. Perhaps. But then, we really need to give credit (or debit) where it is due. One has killed before, it doesn't necessarily follow that he did it again thereafter. It only remains in the possible, even probable. And for one to be sure, what we need is a credible probe.

Furthermore, the problem with all this is that we have a case where the pot and the pan are both calling each other black and greasy. The AFP and the CPP-NPA hold dismal human rights records, thus when one squeaks about violations, the other can easily squawk: "Look who's talking!" There is a credibility problem here. Do we choose between the lesser killer?

As the polarization and antagonism between both parties continue, along with the body count, we at PATH affirm all the more our neutrality; faithful only to universal human rights ideals and partial only to truth and justice. We continue to call for an independent investigation, one that would look into both State and non-State perpetrated violations. The UN, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other international authorities should play a role.

When the pot and the pan paint each other black, it's time for the kusinero to step in and scrub them both clean.


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