Victim-centered and reform-oriented justice. This is the continued clamor of Peace Advocates towards Truth, Justice and Healing (PATH) in light of reports that a warrant of arrest has been issued against Rep. Satur Ocampo for his participation in the CPP-NPA Purges.
While the victims of the purges have long sought a just resolution to the issue and accountability from the perpetrators, the timing and manner of the government's brand of "justice" are inappropriate. Its politically- biased intent itself may compromise the legitimacy of the purge victims' cause. We fear that the hate and paranoia that drive the government and its agencies to go against the leadership of CPP-NPA and Bayan Muna is of the same variety as the hate and paranoia that we have suffered from in the past and continue to rally against to this day.
The issue of the purges is one of paramount importance not only to us but to any democratic society that values human rights. To reduce it to a "card" to be brandished in games of political survival and one-upmanship is to devalue its lessons and recreate the culture of violence that precisely allowed the killings of the past to take place.
This is in no way to absolve the perpetrators of any liability. However, the victims deserve a credible ruling -- one that has been reached through a process devoid of any other agenda but the truth.
We call for due process for the accused, but continue to stand firm in our quest for justice and accountability.
Rogel Gil M. Navarro, Chairman
Lan Mercado-Carreon, Vice-Chairperson
Robert Francis B. Garcia, Secretary General
Atty. Jae de la Cruz, Member, PATH Legal Team
The Council of Leaders
PEACE ADVOCATES FOR TRUTH, HEALING AND JUSTICE (PATH)
09 March, 2007