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Khmer Rouge Clone

cBy Juan Mercado
President Gloria Macapagal -Arroyo’s legacy has been indelibly stained by a bucolic Maguindanao hillside turned into Khmer Rouge-style killing field.
In Amaptuan town, 64 (official tally is 57) bodies — civilians, journalists and passer-bys — were exhumed from mass graves. Genitals of 22 women-were shattered by gunshots, Justice Secretary Agnes Denavadera revealed. Some were still breathing when dumped into the pit.
Racheted brutality triggered nationwide protests. ‘We will be their witness,” said the pooled editorial “Commitment”. “There will be justice” for all those slain. This follows the first-ever pooled editorial by metropolitan papers in the early 70’s. That flayed “Compartmentalized Justice”.
Young Filipinos didn’t see the ruthlessness of Japanese “kempetai” and Filipino quislings. Now, we must look beyond Ampatuan to mass graves elsewhere, if we’re to understand the gutting of this nation’s soul.
Buried in Russia’s Katyn forests are 21,768 Polish officers, dissidents and prisoners, killed by Soviets in 1941. In Cambodia’s Tuol Sleng jail, only seven of over 17,000 inmates survived. The rest were executed in Choeung Ek and other killing fields.
“In Kosovo, mass graves are everywhere,” AP reports. “Turn down the wrong road, looking for a mass grave of 35 ethnic Albanians. And men there say : no, that’s the next village. But we’ll show where we buried seven of our fathers and uncles…”
Serbs dug up corpses with a backhoe to blot out evidence.”The 2 1/2-month war was time enough for killing untold thousands. But it wasn’t enough time for cleaning up afterward.”
When soliders reached sitio Masalay, the killers had fled. They discovered the engine of a Maguindanao provincial government backhoe still running. The backhoe crushed and buried bodies and vehicles It carved out mass graves a day before the massacre. Nazis also completed gas chambers and graves at concentration camps, from Dachau, Buchenwald to Auschwitz, before Jewish prisoners arrived.
But “there wasn’t enough time for cleaning up afterward,” Since then, backhoe operator Hanid Delayudin has vanished. Dead men tell no tales?
The Philippines is no stranger to political killings, Until the Ampatuan slaughter, killings tended to be individuals, not en masse.
A sniper killed Ilocos Norte politician Julio Nalundasan in 1935.
The Supreme Court overturned conviction of Ferdinand Marcos ( GR. No. L-47388) Guman cut down Antique governor Evelio Javier in February 1986. That fueled outrage in People Power One.
Marelene Esperat of Midland Review, in Tacurong, and Anna Politkovskaya documented, in Chechnya, torture, mass executions and kidnapping.
No one has been held accountable.The message is clear: You can get away with it. Today, “there are no more rules, no lines left to cross,” Inquirer’s Pat Evangelista wrote. The Mumbai terrorists who slaughtered 173 hotel guests and wounded 308. And the Maguindanao killers mowed down everybody.
In that rampage, they used government facilites: guns, bullets, uniforms, vehicles, even backhoe. Their salaries came from taxes paid by the victims. . They utilized a government check point to corral victims.
Recall how 22 Presidential Anti Organized Crime agents abducted, tortured and killed publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver.
Ex-president Joseph Estrada and Senator Panfilo Lacson, then PNP chief, deny they “winked” at those rubouts.
Warlords get away with murder, since they provide “Vote ATMs” The Ampatuans shut out Fernando Poe when Ms Arroyo ran for the presidency. They ensured a 12-0 tally for the senatorial polls.
And ingratitude is not one of Ms Arroyo’s flaws. To swipe a line from Winston Churchill: She “has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.”
“The bigger prize is the power (by warlords) to monopolize or extort money from those engaged in lucrative business of illegal drugs, gambling “ to smuggling, Francisco Lara wrote in Mindanews.
Nine Ampatuans hold public office. Did they file Statement of Assets & Liabilities? . Do they reflect explosion of net worth, similar to, say Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo’s SALN?.
Rep. Arroyo has urged the President to run for Congress.
Mama hints she may oblige, early this Advent (she already announced she’s running). Ironically, this. liturgical season’s theme is: “Make straight the crooked ways”
There’s much to straighten out. Aside from arrests and prosecution, structural reforms are needed.. One is to strip local executives of power to select their police chiefs. Another is Comelec’s wont to locate satellite offices to suit whims of warlords.
(E-mail: juanlmercado@gmail.com)

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