On CPR and E.O. 464

April 26, 2006 at 4:33 pm Leave a comment

The Supreme Court has decided, and now the GMA administration must be held accountable.

That the government, through EO 464 and CPR, violated the constitution twice means that the government did not impose these policies unwittingly. The two decisions also mean that the sitting President’s political survival is not above the people’s basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.

GMA and those who trumpeted these policies – Sec. Bunye, Sec. Mike Defensor, Sec. Ermita, and Sec. Gonzales – must face all the legal and political consequences of their acts.

GMA and the PNP must also apologize publicly to all victims of a policy that has displayed the capacity of the State to be inhumane to the people. The brutal force with which the police dispersed peaceful assemblies since the imposition of the CPR was not a simple attempt to restrict our fundamental freedoms. The repeated, unrelenting, and inhumane use of water cannons, batons, and truncheons on helpless rallyists is a horrible assault to human dignity for which the government and the police must apologize immediately.

The apology should extend to all Filipinos who have been arrested, hosed down, arbitrarily detained, physically hurt, or emotionally tormented by the violence employed by the police to break up peaceful assemblies in the name of CPR.

The SC decisions, a public apology from the government and a quick resolution to the charges filed by rallyists against abusive police men and women are necessary to impair forever the draconian incursions of the sitting President.

The decision of the Supreme Court on the CPR only affirms the criminal and administrative cases filed by AKBAYAN against abusive police men and women. It is a stern warning to the PNP that each time they use their batons, tear gas, or truncheons to disperse an otherwise peaceful rally, they are already committing a grave violation of the constitution for which they will be held accountable for.

The SC ruling is just the beginning of our struggle to put an end to the PNP and the government’s sense of impunity. We in AKBAYAN will definitely not withdraw the cases we have filed against the PNP and we hope that they will be promptly and justly resolved.

Our only worry is the SC’s decision on BP 880. While its implementation should be ministerial to regulate the time, venue, and manner of assemblies, it has been abused by the police, with the help of local governments, to regulate freedom of expression and rationalize violent dispersal of rallies. Now that the CPR has been rendered constitutionally infirm, the government and the PNP will most likely mangle the decision to rationalize further dispersals of protest rallies.


Entry filed under: Philippines in Crisis.

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