President Benigno Aquino III on Saturday chided some of his critics for insisting he has done nothing substantial in his first 100 days in office, even as militants gave him a "failing mark" on stopping extra-judicial killings.
ninoy, malacanyang, ninoy aquino

But Aquino said he has forgiven the naysayers, adding what is important to him is that ordinary Filipinos see and appreciate the “reforms" he has so far put in place.

“Sabi nga nung iba, half-full and half-empty. Eh meron talagang iba na ang pakay nila sa buhay ay parating tumingin doon sa half-empty, hindi na ho nila makikita yung part na half-full. Siguro pagpapasensyahan ko na sila. Sa akin ho, basta nakikita ng taumbayan yung talagang ginagawa natin para sa nakararami parati at palagay ko na-a-appreciate naman nila, ako ay kuntento na,"
he told reporters after speaking at a government health insurance registration launching in Manila.

(Some people just insist on seeing the glass as half-empty and never half-full. I will just forgive them. To me, what matters is that people see what my administration has done so far. If they appreciate these reforms, I will be content.)

He said an “objective" observer will see he has already put in place major reforms, including filing cases against tax evaders regularly and exposing the questionable perks of officials in some government-owned and controlled corporations.

Aquino indicated he will enumerate in detail the “reforms" he has put in place in his first 100 days in office. Aquino will mark his first 100 days in office on October 8.

“Ang dami na actually, ipo-point out, ilalabas natin sa 100-day report natin (There have been many reforms in place. I will cite them in my report on my first 100 days)," he said.

Extrajudicial killings

Despite the Aquino administration’s promises to be different from its predecessor, it has retained the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo administration’s policy for extra-judicial killings, militants claimed Saturday.

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) said the killing of peasant leader Rene “Toto" Quirante in Negros Oriental Friday indicates at least one killing a week in Aquino’s first 100 days.

“The fact that these killings continue shows that the Aquino [administration] is not doing enough to stop them. Aquino’s boast that 50% of the extrajudicial killings under his term have been solved is a hollow and misleading claim. The number of victims has increased and no government action has proven to deter the perpetrators. The 50% claim also conveniently glosses over the hundreds of victims under the previous fascist Arroyo regime that remain unresolved," Bayan said in a statement on its website.

“(Quirante) is the 14th victim killed under the nearly 100-day old Aquino administration. This means that on the average, one victim is killed every week since Aquino took power," it added.

Quirante, 48, a peasant leader in Guihulngan City in Negros Oriental, was gunned down in Sitio Amomoyong in Barangay Trinidad, reportedly by a group of soldiers, at around 2 a.m.

He was the local chairman of Kaugma-on, a provincial chapter of militant farmers organization Kiluang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP).

Militant rights group Karapatan cited witnesses who said Quirante, a father of five, was sleeping over in the house of one Romeo Gador for a KMP local consultation in the area when some 30 armed men forced their way into the house.

The victims’ relatives said that Quirante and Gador were tortured, Karapatan added. Quirante was shot in the head, but Gador was not killed in the incident.

Karapatan claimed the killers of Quirante were “elements of the 11th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army."

Quirante was a former political prisoner, detained for rebellion in 2007. He was released after one and a half months of imprisonment, when the courts dismissed the case against him.

Bayan said the killings continue because the state policy for extrajudicial killings and the targeting of activists continues.

This policy is embodied in the counter-insurgency program “Oplan Bantay Laya," it said.

“Legal organizations and unarmed activists are still considered targets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. This has not changed and there have been many alarming accounts from various provinces on the harassment… of legal activists. The AFP continues to deny any responsibility despite overwhelming proof and widespread belief that they are involved. Aquino cannot solve the problem if he does not recognize this basic fact that has been articulated by many rights advocates, including foreign observers and groups," it said.

A second reason is that no high-ranking official, military or civilian, has been made to account for the killings, it said.

“Aquino must rein in his generals, abandon the US-directed counter-insurgency program Bantay Laya and create the mechanisms needed to prosecute the perpetrators, both past and present," it said.


Leave a Reply