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PIA Press Release

Foes using killings for destabilization - security adviser

Quezon City (10 October) -- ANTI-GOVERNMENT forces are using the political killings as a tool for destabilization, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's top security adviser said Tuesday.

At the same time, Norberto Gonzales appealed to critics to allow the Melo Commission to do its job of investigating these killings, saying what will help the panel more at this point will be technical expertise rather than advocacy.

Gonzales said the spate of the killings was meant to undermine the government.

"The unexplained killings has been chosen as an effective tool to destabilize the government, so I am going to make an appeal to those concerned especially those attempting to raise this issue as a plain human rights issue to be careful. The more we show that this is an effective tool in destabilizing the government, the more the perpetrators will be encouraged to do this," he told reporters in an ambush interview in Malacañang.

Gonzales noted that some of these killings happened after groups, "especially from NGOs [non-government organizations] abroad whom we know are communist fronts," had warned of another killing.

“They claimed that there would be media killings. Then a week after, they happened. If you remember, I also told you that there might be judges and prosecutors who might die because these groups had warned that our justice system was weak. I am afraid of that. There was even a warning about Aglipayan bishops who would be killed, and it happened,” said Gonzales in Filipino.

Gonzales referred to the murders almost a week apart of Bishops Dionisio Gingging and Alberto Ramento, both from the Philippine Independent Church (PIC),

Gonzales cited the human rights group Karapatan as being one of those that would always issue a warning.

Gonzales also appealed to critics to allow the Melo Commission to work.

Headed by retired Supreme Court justice Jose Melo, the commission was created by Arroyo to investigate the extrajudicial killings and prosecute their perpetrators.

Gonzales also welcomed the assistance offered by foreign governments which Arroyo had invited to the Philippines during her trip to Europe last month.

"I think we need more technical expertise than advocacy in this matter," Gonzales said. (PIA) [top]

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