On December 10, as the world commemorated International Human Rights Day, the Filipino people, represented by progressive people’s organizations, put on trial the US-backed Aquino regime for crimes against the Filipino people.
For more than four years, the US-backed Aquino regime has only resorted to dishing out catchy slogans to mask its attacks on the Filipino people—an endless and unproductive loop of lies.
Oplan Bayanihan, which is instrumental in the bombing of communities, illegal arrests, detention, and killings of activists, hides behind ‘peace and development, and respect for human rights’ slogans.
The police brutality used against legitimate protest actions and during demolition of urban poor shanties masquerades as ‘maintenance of peace and order’.
The Filipino people seethe with anger and discontent.
The protest actions that followed the exposé on the PhP10-billion pork barrel scam sent the Aquino government scampering for ways to dissipate the people’s anger, but only in ways that Benigno Simeon Aquino III and the bureaucrats in his government can continue to feast on the pork and drown themselves in pork fat.
Months into the end of Oplan Bayanihan's Pahase 1, human rights violations continue to belie the conjured picture of "peace and development" of the three-year US-Noynoy Aquino regime. Oplan Bayanihan (OpBay) is Aquino's version of Oplan Bantay Laya (OBL).
The almost complete unmasking to the public of a pretentious rule marks the second year of Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s presidency.
Despite supposedly improving economic statistics, the majority of the people are still mired in poverty reeling from high prices of basic commodities and services, unemployment, unlivable wages, sham land reform, inadequate housing and so on. Even its much touted campaign against poverty is under question as more cases of corruption by people from the Aquino administration surface. No hope can be pinned on this president whose government fails to lighten and instead adds to the burden that the people, especially from the basic sectors, endure.
Noynoy Aquino’s reckless implementation of privatization, liberalization, deregulation and denationalization, all earmarks of neoliberal globalization, proves his puppetry to U.S. imperialism. Just like Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino has been anointed to be the U.S. lackey in Asia especially in its current “pivot to Asia-Pacific.” In exchange for Obama’s pat on the head and American military aid,Malacanang welcomes stronger U.S. military presence in the country and perhaps even the possible return of U.S. bases.
There has been no substantial change from martial law to Noynoy Aquino, especially in the human rights situation in the country. This is the logical conclusion one could draw after the horrors of repression during martial law were recalled and highlighted during the commemoration of its 40th year of imposition. Brought to the fore were stories of gross human rights violations during one of the darkest periods in Philippine history.
Noynoy Aquino led the government’s commemoration of the 40th year of martial law and, for the nth time, recalled the sufferings of his family under the dictatorship. A week later, Noynoy Aquino would be seen in the company of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, the architect of martial law, and Imelda Marcos, the dictator’s widow. Meanwhile, victims of martial law still have to see the Aquino government’s will to push for the indemnification of the victims of Marcos’s campaign of suppression. The indemnification of martial law victims remains sidetracked, 26 years after the dictatorship was ousted. So much for justice and indemnification.