Press Statement: 12 November 2010
We strongly condemn the killing of Caloy Rodriguez, president of the Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa ng Calamba Water District or NLM-CWD, today at 5:30 in the afternoon by motorcycle-riding gunmen in Calamba, Laguna. NLM-CWD is an affiliate of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees or Courage – which is a fellow member of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU – May First Movement) in the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or Bayan. Courage has been indefatigable in fighting corruption in government and militant in advancing its members’ rights and interests, thereby earning the wrath of successive regimes.
We point our fingers at the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the regime of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as the culprits behind this yet another case of extra-judicial killing in the country. The shooting and death of Caloy Rodriguez is yet another consequence of Pres. Aquino’s decision to continue implementing the murderous Oplan Bantay Laya counter-insurgency program of his predecessor and to adhere to the US Counter-insurgency Guide.
It is also a consequence of the utter failure of the Aquino regime to prosecute (former Philippine President) Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her butchers, such as former General Jovito Palparan, for the grave human-rights violations that they have committed while in power. Pres. Aquino says that carrying out extra-judicial killings is not his government’s policy, but his military’s actions speak louder than his words; his military’s gunshots speak louder than his all-too soft denial.
During the Arroyo regime, we sought help from the Commission on Human Rights under Leila de Lima in condemning and investigating cases of extra-judicial killings. The current CHR chief, Akbayan’s Etta Rosales, was appointed to her post on the basis of her supposed record in defending human rights. Her refusal to fully engage with cases of human-rights violations involving activists, however, has only emboldened the military to continue carrying out the extra-judicial killings of activists under a regime that has promised “change” to the Filipino workers and people. Her statements about focusing on “lesser-known” cases of human rights violations – as compared with, for example, the case of the Morong 43 – does not at all help in the struggle to uphold human rights in the country.
Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, Chairperson, Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU – May First Movement), +63 908-163659