Left of the Middle

A new report from Human Rights Watch may shed some light on why things that involve left movements, such as NASCAR and political activists, are not popular with the Philippine government.

The report, “‘No Justice Just Adds to the Pain’: Killings, Disappearances, and Impunity ,” goes into detail about how the government is basically protecting military officers and officials who are bringing harm towards people associated with leftist movements.

A former soldier told Human Rights Watch that military commanders had ordered him to kill leftist activists and to hide or burn the bodies. He said the military had trained him and other soldiers to make targeted killings look like the work of the rebel group’s Special Partisan Unit (SPARU) by using .45 caliber pistols and wearing balaclavas thought to be favored by the rebels.

Rather than condemn and prosecute those responsible, the government, under President Benigno Aquino III, has chosen to ignore–a sign of tacit approval–these disappearances, attacks and killings.

What message is the Philippine government sending to its citizens? Those who are courageous enough to challenge the government with their ideas for changes and progress will be met with violence.

If the government has one iota of courage itself, it will stop hiding behind its military and start holding those responsible for this unnecessary violence accountable for their actions, while showing its people that it believes in upholding human rights.

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