Saturday ∗ 28 Jun 2008

presidential torture

of course this president is torture enough. that grimace that she seems to always have on her face. her capacity at giggling in kilig and laughing at jokes made at the expense of a nation in calamity. and we’re not even talking about her ability to say one thing and do another. and to lie through her teeth.

and then this, a perfect example of how torture is but part and parcel of GMA’s presidency. and how people still suffer for their politics – when it’s the kind that is not one of a heckler’s, or a rightist’s, or that of an America-loving-Pinoy – in the closet and otherwise.

According to the Manila Times editorial today, the NCR director for the Human Rights Commission Dr. Renato Basas has confirmed that various forms of torture have been employed by the GMA administration. And while she has also ratified the U.N. Treaty Against Torture, the editorial also says that obviously

“The unfortunate reality is that absolutely prohibiting the police, the jail managers, the military and others charged with the duty of ensuring that law and order prevail is not among the top priorities of Malacañang.”

A measure as well of GMA’s fear in the military’s power over her, thus the decision to coddle the Palparans of this world and celebrate then as fantastic officers, despite witness upon witness saying otherwise. Proving otherwise.

i caught Storyline‘s episode on the desaparecidos of the present. And while sometimes the show’s format doesn’t work (more on this next time), last night, it just did, as it allowed King Catoy to just speak to the camera, with no real sense of an interviewer. Catoy told the story of his 2003 abduction, and spoke of the activists with him who were summarily executed: human rights worker Eden Marcellana and peasant leader Eddie Gumanoy.

what struck too close to home was the fact that he and two others had identified Master Sgt. Donald Caigas as one of their abductors. Caigas would also be the one name that would surface in relation to Karen Empeno’s and Sherlyn Cadapan’s disappearance, and apparent torture and rape. the latter story was witnessed and told by the abducted farmers who would come to be known as the Manalo brothers, Raymund and Reynaldo.

it was Raymund Manalo who claimed that he saw Palparan twice during his three-month detention, before he and his brother escaped to tell their story. in one of those instances, Palparan told him to tell his parents to stop going to protest rallies.

blindfolded, hands tied behind him, and kneeling on the ground, King Catoy was also told the same thing: stop going to rallies, stop whatever it is you’re doing with these activists. stop being yourself.

and everyday, we live through the torture of knowing that many others are disappearing and dying for doing what they do, believing what they will, living a life for justice and democracy that we all should want to live. because people are stolen, are made to disappear, are tortured and raped, and are killed, not simply for their politics. in GMA’s time (as with Marcos’), they are being made to suffer for being themselves.

Posted in: aktibismo, bayan, gobyerno, komentaryo, pulahan, pulitika, TV

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