COMMENTARY: Filthier than that Dirty Finger

DAVAO CITY (11 July) — Preposterous!

That should somehow describe the spending of government funds just because a vice mayor in this part of the country flashed that dirty finger sign.  In the graduation of issues between Rody Duterte’s middle finger and the ever-growing number of killings, it is so obvious, even to the most ordinary person, that the latter should be the concern of the Commission on Human Rights.

Commission on Human Rights Chairperson Etta Rosales urged the Department of Interior and Local Government to punish Vice Mayor Rody Duterte for flashing his middle finger in an interview on national television.  Etta is noticeably going gaga over that middle finger while she has been very silent on the fact that state terror rages throughout the country without letup.

Karapatan (Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights) has reported that there have already been 45 victims of political killings and four enforced disappearances since Aquino assumed power last year.  The human rights group has attributed this to the present regime’s security operational plan Oplan Bayanihan.

The commission, on the other hand, has clearly become an instrument in the perpetration of state terrorism and human rights violations.  This was clearly manifested in the case of Filipino-American Melissa Roxas who was tortured by the Armed Forces of the Philippines two years ago.  The McCarthyist Etta Rosales denied her justice by ruling that “there is insufficient evidence to support this conclusion, and insufficient evidence to pinpoint individual members of the AFP as the possible or probable perpetrators.”

Etta, to justify her appointment to the commission, picked on the Dutertes.  She saw a chance to grandstand.  She had to.  Due to the fact that she has not made good account of herself as chair of the constitutional commission, she now had to impress and show that she is doing something to defend the human rights of each and every Filipino.  The truth is she does not have any credibility to do that.

She herself has caused the witch-hunting of members of progressive organizations such as Kilusang Mayo Uno and Bagong Alyansang Makabayan.  She has actively accused them as fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines making all of their members fair game to whoever would want to “neutralize” them.

Etta Rosales’ appointment is political accommodation.  Rosales and her pseudo-progressive group Akbayan have supported and campaigned for Aquino in the last elections.  She is also acceptable to the AFP as she is not going to breathe on its neck as it delivers its deadly blows to the main stakeholders of the human rights issue.

There is no use telling her to stop grandstanding and focus her energies on the graver issues of human rights rather than pick on a dirty finger.  After all, this is her time to “shine.”
Etta capitalizes on the fact that she suffered during Martial Law.  She has actively projected herself as a champion of human rights but the fact is she has no qualms, and will never have qualms, rubbing elbows with those who carry out human rights violations in the present times.

An animal which brandishes itself as a sheep but is actually a wolf is a very dangerous and filthy creature.  At the end of the day, Etta and her intentions are filthier than that of Rody Duterte’s dirty finger. (Omar Bantayan is a former labor leader and street parliamentarian who is who is now preoccupied with trying to make ends meet.)