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7 Boholanos Have Been Politically Murdered?
« on: July 27, 2007, 04:36:51 PM »
Written By Rey Anthony Chiu
Philippine Information Agency

Lending more teeth to the newly passed Human Security act, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her recent State of the Nation Address (SONA) shrugged off the criticisms heaped against the law and instead asked Congress to fortify it with a transformed state response to violence.

This as militant groups in Bohol continue to call for opposition and raise concern over what they termed as serious trampling of human rights and the Marcosian proclamations to ensure continued stay in power.

While calling enough of this, Bayan and allied youth sector party Kabataan insisted 7 Boholanos have been politically murdered.

Local authorities including the local Human Rights Commission office however said the some of the cases were done with other motives than political.

“Some killings, which the progressive groups consider as political have personal angles and could not be considered as political killings,” Provincial Peace and Order Council fact finding team leader Romeo Teruel said.

Despite passing through the characteristic heated debates in Congress, Bayan and Kabataan insisted that the new law is not just violative of the Constitutional guaranteed rights but is also patterned after the Marcosian dictatorial proclamations.

Pressing on what they pointed out as vague definition of terrorism, both groups allege that the law could be a tool for persecution by allowing illegal detentions, surveillance, house arrests and freezing of bank accounts on mere suspicion.

With this, the President urged Congress for laws to guide the state's response to political violence.

The President asked Congress to enact on a stronger protection program so the state could protect witnesses from lawbreakers and law enforcers. She also urged the plenum for help in guaranteeing swift justice from more empowered special courts.

Moreover, she begged Congress for harsher penalties for political killings and finally, to put up the harshest penalties for the rogue elements in the uniformed services who betray public trust and bring shame to the greater number of their colleagues who are patriotic.

In Bohol, sectors have asked the militant groups to consider that their representatives were also part of those who deliberated on the law.

“If they think their party representatives did not work for their concerns, then that’s their problem,” a Tagbilaran City sidewalk fish vendor who refused to be named said in an interview.

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