KMU to Mar: Bare names of 235 alleged commie leaders

WITH the enactment of a law banning the military from making “orders of battle” or hitlists, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno dared Interior and Local Government Sec. Mar Roxas to bare the names of 235 alleged communist leaders the bounty on whose heads he jacked up last November.

KMU said the list of 235 alleged communist leaders, the monetary reward for whose capture was increased to P466.88 billion by Roxas through Department of National Defense-Department of Interior and Local Government Joint Order No. 14-2012, can easily be used by the military as an order of battle.

It also said that the non-disclosure of the alleged communist leaders’ names poses a threat to progressive organizations, whose leaders have been included by the military in its previous orders of battle and have been targets of abduction and elimination.

Last Friday, Pres. Noynoy Aquino signed the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act, which prohibits the military from using an order of battle or any similar document to justify the abduction or detention of critics of the government.

“The Aquino government is bragging about banning orders of battle when it has just announced what appears to be an order of battle last November. Lists of alleged communist leaders have been treated by the military, if not the government, as lists of people who are targets for abduction or elimination,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

“By not disclosing the names of the 235 so-called communist leaders, Roxas is putting the lives of leaders of progressive organizations in danger. Leaders of progressive organizations have always been accused by the military of being communist leaders,” he added.

“In order to boost his presidential campaign, Mar is trying to act tough on critics of the government, not on human-rights violators and private armies of politicians and mining and logging companies. We detest his shameless electioneering at the expense of activists and human rights,” he said.

The labor leader said the Aquino government is trying to make it appear that it is abiding by international human-rights conventions while continuing to implement human-rights violations.

“The signing of the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Act goes against DND-DILG Joint Order No. 14-2012. We cannot help but think that the first is just the velvet glove hiding the iron hand which the second is,” Labog said.

“The Aquino government is responding to local and international condemnation of its human-rights record not with genuine measures aimed at curbing these violations but with publicity gimmicks. While we will surely use this law in fighting human-rights violations, we harbor no illusions that it will end the military’s violations of human rights,” he added.

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