I actually expected the backlash, although I find it unfortunate that it did not come sooner.
Three generals, though unnamed, have come out in news reports to divulge information internal to the Armed Forces about the extrajudicial killings of leaders of the national democratic open mass movement. The chief justice of the Supreme Court has proposed a summit on political killings with the end in view of proposing changes in the laws relative to command responsibility. And newly elected senator-cum-mutineer Antonio Trillanes IV may yet make good his plan to spearhead a Senate investigation on the matter.
The counter-current is building up. But whether that is enough to pressure those behind the political killings is something else.
Incorporating the violation of human rights in the fight against the communist-led rebellion in the Philippines did not work eventually for the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. Killings of high-profile leaders of militant groups like Leandro Alejandro did not work under the government of Corazon Aquino. Instead, the strategy widened the support for the armed struggle and isolated the government locally and internationally.
While the perpetrators may initially get away with the strategy, the counter-current will eventually become a deluge. They may play deaf to the condemnation of sectors of the international community or laugh at the criticisms hurled by personalities and groups inside the country. But once generals and other military officers start voicing openly their concerns, the perpetrators will be forced to listen. They surely won’t risk breaking the unity of the organization. Besides, it is a sign of cracks in the Armed Forces armor.
– -Candido O. Wenceslao, for June 28, 2007