EP human rights report on Phl fake news

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Philippine Star

The latest report we just got from the European Parliament (EP) is that it has approved a resolution condemning the “rapid” deterioration of human rights and press freedom in the Philippines under President Duterte and called on the current administration to address a range of serious issues. Rapid deterioration of human rights? Where did the EP get this?

A recent letter sent via email from Carlos Conde, who always sends me his human rights stories, has resulted, I would like to believe, in this EP resolution.

“Dear friends, I would like to share with you a couple of television interviews my colleague Laila Matar conducted with TV networks in the Philippines this week. Laila is the deputy UN director at Human Rights Watch based in Geneva. On #ANCMattersOfFact on Tuesday, Laila tackles the many reasons why @UN_HRC needs to act on the human rights situation in the Philippines.” This gives us an idea that while the ABS-CBN issue is no longer headline news in the Philippines, Filipinos who somehow get to be interviewed by foreign media still continue to make this a huge issue on press freedom.

So the big question in the minds of our Filipino readers is whether or not the human rights organization in the Philippines is acting like a political opposition to the Duterte administration. A case in point was the horrific bombing in Jolo, Sulu last Aug. 24, 2020 by two jihadists from the Abu Sayyaf group who detonated two bombs killing 14 people and wounding 75 others. The first bomb occurred as Philippine Army personnel were assisting in carrying out humanitarian efforts.

How come I never got any human rights reports from Carlos Conde on this incident? So I dare you, Mr. Carlos Conde, if you want human rights reports to be credible… you should feature all incidents that happen in this country when people’s human rights are violated. Otherwise you are only sending fake news to the EP who know nothing about what is happening in the country – or have you become like your predecessor Chito Gascon who became general secretary of the Liberal Party? Abangan!

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Yesterday was the 48th anniversary of the declaration of martial law in the Philippines. A date in our political history that teaches us a huge lesson that indeed the late Pres. Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law using the communist insurgency to extend his political power. Otherwise there wouldn’t have been an EDSA or People Power Revolution.

In my mind there were three previous incidents that led to the declaration of martial law. The first was the so-called Jabidah Massacre as reported in the Senate by then senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. that turned out to be a hoax because as written in the book “Debunked” by Rigoberto Tiglao that Sec. Martin Andanar gifted me last year, it was Ninoy Aquino’s report of Operation Merdeka where 24 volunteer Tausug recruits were reportedly massacred in Corregidor. But when Ninoy went to Sulu, no widows or family members of the so-called massacred soldiers cried out for justice. Hence the plan of Marcos to reclaim Sabah by force was simply exposed! Meanwhile, today Sabah is still an unresolved issue.

The second incident that led to the declaration of martial law was the senseless bombing of the Liberal Party’s “Miting de Avance” presentation of presidential candidates for the 1972 elections. This massacre killed nine people and among the seriously injured were Liberal Party stalwarts senators Gerry Roxas, Serging Osmeña, Jovito Salonga, Genaro Magsaysay, Eva Estrada-Kalaw (Nacionalista guest candidate of the LP), and senatorial bets John Henry Osmeña and Ramon Mitra Jr.

In his many interviews Salonga always pointed to Jose Maria “Joma” Sison as the one who ordered the grenades to be thrown on stage. Notice that Sen. Ninoy Aquino was not on stage, which led to many speculations as to his friendship with Joma. One newsman and a little boy were killed by the two grenades thrown onto the stage. The daily reports that hugged the newspapers were enough for Marcos to declare martial law 13 months after the Plaza Miranda bombing. So why did Tita Cory free Joma Sison?

The third incident that led to the declaration of martial law was the attempted assassination of eventual martial law administrator Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) who was supposedly “ambushed” in the highly secure and lonely Wack-Wack subdivision on the night of Sept. 22, 1972 exactly 48 years ago. After the EDSA revolt, JPE admitted that this was a fake ambush so as to justify the declaration of martial law. I guess he said this in order to justify his participation in the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship. Of course, years later in his autobiography, he recanted this admission. He has since lost all his credibility and no one believes his book.

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