Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bad Eggs and Right Conduct

by: Giovanni A. Tapang, Ph.D.
gtapang@nip. upd.edu.ph
National Institute of Physics
http://www.nip. upd.edu.ph/ ipl
University of the Philippines Diliman

It is so easy to throw back barbs at the activists who threw eggs at Esperon in the form of condemnation and outright indignation, as one's sense of academic decorum is disturbed by the very vivid and graphic activity.

However, the condemnation can dangerously morph into uncalled-for anti-communist hysteria and McCarthyist red-baiting, as is being done byAlex Magno and his friends in the seats of power in Malacanang. In his intolerant column supposedly written in defense of free speech and intellectual tolerance in the university, he equates the incident to fascism and “communist terrorism”. Unfortunately, this only parrots and tows the military's dangerous – and fallacious-- reasoning that unarmed activists are no different from their NPA targets.

Equally dangerous is the opinion that activists must have deserved bein gtargets as they behave “badly”. This is not a case of fighting fire with fire. The AFP has guns. Students have only eggs and words. Esperon and his men have outrightly taken part in electoral fraud and have blatantly tolerated the abduction, torture and killings of unarmed civilians.

Nothing can be more shameful than simply letting go of such iniquity.

The activist students certainly put that difference in power in a graphic light with the pelting that happened.

This is the same General Esperon, mentioned a few times in the Hello Garci tapes, which is the reason he is also called a Hello Garci General. He is one among a few generals who helped in the cheating for Gloria in the 2004 elections. You can verify that by studying the contents of the Hello Garci tapes. There was a new book launched last Monday at the UP College of Law called FRAUD which documents the cheating in the 2004 elections.

This is the same General Esperon, who has made public in several instances his total absence for respect for the peace process. Did he not welcome with open arms "President" Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo' s declaration of "all-out war" against the Left, and the accompany inggrant of an additional P1-billion budget for state forces to use in the counter-"insurgency " campaign?

The "all-out-war" declared by Arroyo, by the way, is not specifically against the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People's Army, and the National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) -- which as organizations are engaged in armed struggle with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) even as it strives to talk peace with its foe. It is against the Left -- a broad term which can be taken to include legal cause-oriented organizations like the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) and progressive party-list groups like Bayan Muna or even progressive individuals that earned the ire of the leading clique in power. There is no distinction between guerrillas and unarmed activists then.

This is the same General Esperon who continues to hide the Mayuga report. Is he scared that the Mayuga report will expose his role in Arroyo's massive cheating, and that he got his job not because of merit, but because of patronage? Yet he is being fast tracked in promotion overmore senior staff in the AFP.

This is the General Esperon, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of- Staff who said at the Melo Commissin that the military and Palparan are not the ones who committed the more than 750 extra judicial killings of activists and civilians. Instead he was saying that the Left themselves are killing their members. He did not lift even a single finger to touch Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, Jr. while the latter was calling Karen and Sherlyn members of the NPA.

With that, he has dismissed the charge that the two UP lady students, Karen EmpeƱo and Sheylyn Calapan, (abducted by the military in Hagonoy,Bulacan 2 months ago and still missing) and effectively saying that they were really not abducted by the military. Some of those students who attended that forum were friends of Karen and Sherylyn and you can very well imagine how they felt about it.

Yet, despite these, the students have had decorum enough to throw only eggs.###--

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