Rights group appeals to religious: reject GMA's terrorism and overcome the evil in the Palace
Reacting to Pres. Arroyo's appeal to the religious to reject terrorism and communism, human rights groups under the umbrella organization KARAPATAN called on the faithful to "reject GMA's own brand of evil – that of revving up anti-communist hysteria to justify the state's use of terrorism and lawless violence against her own people."
Ruth Cervantes, KARAPATAN Public Information Officer, said: "We must reject the terrorist violence of Arroyo cloaked in legalese but which are actually unlawful, unconstitutional and immoral."
KARAPATAN said 31 civilians have been killed from January to March 10, 2006 alone, while 166 of the 179 reported killed in 2005 were documented by their organization. In addition, the group documented 154 victims of enforced disappearance since Pres. Arroyo came to power in 2001.
Cervantes said, "Mrs. Arroyo is right: terrorism is murder. But it is her government that is committing terrorism against the people. That is why Church leaders should protest the evils committed by her government."
KARAPATAN avers that in Arroyo's desperation to remain in power and to crush the armed revolutionary movement, her regime has abandoned the peace process and resorted to a dirty war, now named *Oplan Bantay Laya*, that targets unarmed dissidents and does away with due process.
"Who is intolerant? Who is godless? Mrs. Arroyo's utter disregard of and contempt for human rights has resulted in barbarous acts against our brothers and sisters. Now is the time for righteous anger even by the religious community," Cervantes said.
The rights group called to mind that the Filipino people have the right to rise up against tyranny and oppression if all else fails. KARAPATAN appealed to the Catholic Church to speak out against the alarming spate of political killings and violations of civil liberties. "We are hopeful that Church leaders will hear the plea of those crying out for justice and who want to overcome the evil in the palace that is Mrs. Arroyo and her fascist clique." Cervantes said.