Communist Party of the Philippines: Usefulness of anti-torture law remains in people’s hands

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines today said that tremendous nationwide and worldwide pressure has forced Gloria Arroyo to sign the Anti-Torture Law. It asserted, however, that even as the law can be of some help, "the pursuit and usefulness of the law remains entirely in the hands of the victims and people as they fight for their rights."

The United Nations, the European Union, parliamentarians, international human rights organizations, labor organizations and many other people's organizations abroad have for some time been sending rapporteurs and representatives to pressure the Arroyo regime into at least reducing its human rights violations, especially the extrajudicial killing, abduction and torture of activists.

The CPP noted that Congress sat on the antitorture bill for 22 years before finally passing it last October 13 as Republic Act 9745. After a month in Malacañang, the law was finally signed by Arroyo. It has reached a point where the reactionary government and ruling regime could no longer contain the buildup of nationwide and international criticism against the fascist methods being resorted to by the US-Arroyo regime in its desperate effort to silence activists and other critics.

The CPP qualified, however, that the law means nothing to Arroyo, who signed it prefunctorily. Rampant extrajudicial killings, abductions, secret detention, torture, fascist brutalities and other gross violations of human rights have been equated with the US-Arroyo regime, and not much is expected to change for as as long as the notoriously brutal, rotten regime remains in power. Even with the antitorture law, "the fight for freedom, democracy and human rights remains as formidable and challenging as ever," said the CPP.

"It remains the challenging task of the surviving victims, and the families and loved ones of those who did not survive or who continue to be missing, to persist in the difficult fight against the continuing use of torture, secret detention and other fascist methods that are not expected to be abated much under the US-Arroyo regime even as these are expressedly prohibited under the new law," the CPP stressed. With them in their determined struggle are human rights advocates, democratic and progressive forces, the freedom-loving Filipino people and their advocates abroad.