I got this exact text message around 8pm last night: ANG MGA AQUINO ANG MASTERMIND SA PGPATAY KAY RAMOS KUNG SAAN ANG MGA RHB ANG MGA SNIPER. BINAYARAN NI CORY ANG RHB NG 500K TO KILL RAMOS AND RIVERA OF BAYANMUNA. ACDG (according) TO ISAFP.
Minutes after I received the message, I got a call from the message sender. He asked with a coarse, manly voice if it was indeed me he was talking to, then introduced himself as a certain Major Florencio Legarda of the Philippine Army.
"Si Major Legarda ito...nakikiramay po kami sa pagpatay sa inyong mga kasamahan sa Bayan Muna...kung may information po kayong kailangan, magtext lang kayo sa number na ito..."
Stunned, I asked him again of his full name and asked where his information came from, he said, "...may insider kami sa ISAFP (Intelligence Services of the Armed Forces of the Philippines)."
For a brief moment there I did not know what exactly to say. It was the first time I got a call from someone who introduced himself as AFP personnel, and before his message my 3310 screen read: another one killed by AFP in CL, Ka Pedy De Leon, Anakpawis/Piston Chair. A bit confused, I even remembered thanking him for calling me and relaying to me the information.
It is now common knowledge that the AFP's intelligence agency is not under an investigation/information gathering department, but rather, it is a tool for their propaganda and psy-war operations. Intelligence reports are not meticulously gathered facts and data; they are well (or poorly) crafted lies to justify and to get the people to support their operations.
The military couldn't have had conclusive intelligence reports a few hours after the killings; what they had was a lie to sell. Ka Crispin Beltran may have gotten it right when he said that the "killings may be linked to the government's effort to weaken the alliance between the mass movement." The military and the Arroyo regime wanted the blame to point to the Aquino's.
I told a friend what happened and asked what he thought about it, "pare-pareho lang naman yan sila eh, sila-sila din yan," was what he told me. At first I was a little annoyed by his lack of interest towards the little "conspiracy story" about the killings, but thinking about it, it actually doesn't matter who's story to believe in. The point is that these murderers are now making their own stories out of the lives of peasant and labor leaders they exploited and then killed.
Thinking about it, what hit me the most was the fact that I was part of the picture too. They killed the leaders in Central Luzon, created a story they could sell, and called ME up to tell me their "report." Could it be part of their "military operation"? The story too, is pretty lame, besides, why would they call up a youth activist leader to tell of their "report," even say they were "nakikiramay" and expect their story to be believed?
But contacted by military elements or not, activist leader or not, WE ARE all part of the picture. The killings were intended to terrorize the people, especially the ones standing up for their rights, and to demoralize the ranks of peasants and laborers who are determined to oust the current fascist regime.
Several youth organizations immediately held an indignation protest after receiving the news of the brutal slay of Ka Ric, Francisco, Dr. David, Von John Maniti and Ka Pedy De Leon. There, more than a hundred youth leaders vowed to fight for justice for the victims of the killings and promised to intensify the campaign to oust Arroyo and her fascist government.
They chanted, lit candles, and together proclaimed that the time will come when those who should pay will pay, and no amount of psy-ops, lies and propaganda will save them. ###