Youth members of Akbayan party-list today branded President Macapagal Arroyo's appeal to the youth to fight electoral violence as an incongruous, hypocritical statement of a perpetrator of political violence."
In a statement, Akbayan Vice-President Maricris Cabreros said Mrs. Arroyo has no moral ascendancy whatsoever to demand the youth to become "guardians of non-violence" as her term saw the escalation of political violence to appalling proportions.
"This is pure hypocrisy. How dare Mrs. Arroyo demand the Filipino youth to fight electoral violence when her government is a prime source of violence as manifested by the brutal acts of violence under her nine-year reign, many of which can compare only to the atrocities committed under the Marcos dictatorship," Cabreros said.
Cabreros, who is also the outgoing Chairperson of Akbayan youth cited the killing of journalists, summary execution of hundreds of legal political dissidents, violent dispersals of peaceful demonstrations and high incidents of election-related killings as glaring examples of the Arroyo government's penchant for violence.
Citing data from COMPACT, an independent network of NGOs and personalities monitoring and documenting election fraud and violence, Cabreros stressed that in the 2007 mid-term elections alone, 78 people were killed while 21 people were injured. She said of those killed, Luzon had the highest with 40 people dead followed by Visayas with 21, Mindanao 15 and the National Capital Region, 2.
Cabreros also mentioned the Ampatuan massacre which she branded as the zenith of the Arroyo government's record of election-related violence implicating no less than Mrs. Arroyo's staunchest political ally in the south.
"The Filipino youth is not gullible. We know our facts and history. And the truth is, in order to become genuine guardians of non-violence and fight electoral violence, we must fight the source of violence, and it starts by ending the Arroyo government," Cabreros concluded.