This refers to the Inter-agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and Other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons, the “superbody” created in November 2012, by President Aquino to investigate old and new human rights violations.
The superbody is starting with a “superwrong” framework. Extrajudicial killings must be seen in context as essentially and mainly—as reality starkly shows—human rights violations committed by the state and its forces. Other killings, reprehensible as they may be, are crimes that the state should already be prosecuting as a matter of course. To use a strained definition of extrajudicial killings will not decisively address the phenomenon. On the contrary, it will blur and smokescreen extrajudicial killings, skirt impunity issues and even make scapegoats, more so with the body’s ostensibly distracting and confused functions. What Task Force Usig maliciously did, the new superbody will fall into as an open trap.
The US Navy drone that was found off the seawaters of Masbate is a foreboding of what other flying objects are lurking over our heads, unbeknownst to Filipinos, whether high and mighty or just you and me.
The United States is not content with arrogant troops using our land and waters as playgrounds where big boys and girls may pursue their interests. It wants to puncture and punctuate even the air we breathe with its dangerous toys. What right or justification does it have? Is there a war it is involved in despite denials to the contrary? Or do our leaders savor making our country into one big doormat, a condition made legitimate by onerous agreements that are tinkered with more and more, time and again?—EDRE U. OLALIA, secretary general, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers, firstname.lastname@example.org