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Heads must roll for Aklan killing, and military spokesman should be first – Anakbayan

July 6, 2010

Youth group Anakbayan expressed its outrage today over the claim of an Armed Forces of the Philippines official that the first activist killing under the new Aquino administration was the result of a ‘communist purge’.

Fernando Baldomero, a coordinator of partylist group Bayan Muna in Aklan, was shot to dead early Monday morning in front of his own house in Kalibo, Aklan. AFP spokesperson Jose Mabanta however claimed that the killing was the result of an alleged ‘internal purge’ by an ‘underground armed organization’, in reference to the AFP’s previous claims that progressive organizations such as Bayan Muna have links to the New People’s Army.

“Mabanta is an idiot and is under the mistaken belief that the public is even dumber than him, which would be the only possibility for them to believe such a discredited claim” said Anakbayan national vice-chairperson Anton Dulce.

The youth leader cited the results of investigations by the government’s Melo Commission and the UN (United Nations) rapporteur for human rights Philip Alston, both of which dismissed the possibility of an ‘internal purge’ as the cause of more than 1,200 extra-judicial killings and 300 enforced disappearances under Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Dulce said Mabanta’s statement bolstered the suspicion of human rights advocates that the military is behind the murder, saying the AFP equated progressive organizations with the armed NPA, making them both valid targets of ‘military operations’ from their point of view.

“Yet again, we hear it straight from the horse’s mouth: the AFP and its bullets do not differentiate between unarmed civilians and armed rebels” he said.

Meanwhile, he reiterated the Anakbayan’s previous call to the Aquino Administration to punish military officials involved in the Aklan killing, and added that Mabanta’s attempt to justify the murder as a crime in its own right.

“We’ve said that heads must roll in the military, and Mabanta’s should roll first. If Noynoy is serious about not tolerating human rights violations, then there is no place for such a bloodthirsty liar like Mabanta in the AFP” added Dulce.

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