Groups, students call for an end to fascist attacks vs the people

“Militarists like National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon have nothing new to offer to the table. He will sing to the tune of political repression and plunder of our resources masked in ornamented phrases like ‘whole of nation approach’ and ‘development projects’, in accordance to the government’s counterinsurgency and build, build, build program. For victims and their kin, Esperon stands to defend the system that took away the lives of our families,” said Hustisya chairperson Evangeline Hernandez during a mobilization at the Asian Center in UP Diliman on October 24, 2017 where Hermogenes Esperon is slated to talk. However, Esperon withdrew from the forum and was instead replaced by the spokesperson of the AFP’s Task Force Marawi.

Hustisya, an association of victims and kin of victims of political killings and other forms of political repression, along with youth group Anakbayan and Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) held simultaneous protest actions inside and outside the UP Asian Center. The groups called attention to the intensifying human rights violations against farmers and the demanded for an end to the fascist attacks against the Filipino people.  

Hernandez noted that Esperon was the AFP Chief from 2006 to 2008, under the bloody regime of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. “It was in his leadership as AFP chief that scores of brutal violations have occurred in the ranks of farmers, workers, and indigenous communties. Berdugo si Esperon, kasapakat ni Jovito Palparan at Eduardo Ano, na ngayon ay AFP chief na rin. In fact, it was during this time that Hustisya was established, as a response to the numerous killings perpetrated by Arroyo, Esperon, and the entire gamut of the repressive State machinery.  Despite this, medals and accolodes drenched in the blood of his victims, he and his fellow officers have been promoted to continue forward with their militarist ways,” she added. 

The Hustisya chairperson further said that “National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. is the proponent of fascist policies that have resulted in the killing, illegal arrest, and displacement of thousands of Filipinos. Among such policies is the Duterte regime’s counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan and the martial law imposition in Mindanao last May 2017. He will talk about the Marawi crisis and proclaim it as a ‘victory’, without batting an eye to the thousands displaced and the grave humanitatian crisis that the government has created. Esperon is a warmonger who has realized that business is good if there is war, destruction.”

“Duterte is asking and siding with the wrong people. Kami ang lubos na naapektuhan, pero hindi kami tinatanong o binibigyan man lang ng pansin. Instead of militarists and fascists such as the likes of Esperon, he should ask the farmers and he will hear a clear answer: free land distribution; he should ask the youth and they will tell him that the State should adhere to its obligation to provide free education to its youth. Duterte should ask us, victims and relatives of political repression and we will tell him we want an end to martial law, we want an end to the killings, we want no more of his counterinsurgency program,” concluded Hernandez. 

Reference: Evangeline Hernandez, Hustisya chairperson, 0950-5415944