Christian youth group Student Christian Movement of the Philippines has welcomed the plans of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to lead a Senate investigation on the extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances in the country.
SCMP chairperson Dion Carlo Cerrafon said they admire the young senator for bravely looking into their own ranks to clarify and hopefully pinpoint the real brains behind the massive human rights violations under the Arroyo government.
“Senator-elect Trillanes may have contrasting ideas with us, but his desire to make it clear who is behind these killings is enough for us to support the call (for an investigation),” Cerrafon said.
Cerrafon also agreed that the rank-and-file soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines may have no direct hand on the order of killing activists and journalists as those in the higher ranks could be “the masterminds of such bloodshed.”
He appealed to the Senate that the investigating body should look into the counter-insurgency program, dubbed as “Oplan Bantay Laya” to prove that it makes activists and critics of the Arroyo government the direct targets of killings and abductions.
The SCMP also called on fellow youth and church groups, especially the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, to support the planned investigation.
“We may not agree on proposed changes in the country. Whatever side we are in, either peaceful protest or revolt, we hope we can unite on one thing: defend life and stop this bloodshed,” Cerrafon appealed.