SECTOR CONDEMNS ATTEMPT ON LIFE OF DOCTOR, HOLDS GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
The health sector under the
banner of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) condemns in the strongest
terms possible the ambush of Dr. Constancio Claver last July 31, 2006
in Kalinga province by unidentified armed men. The attack killed Dr. Claver’s
wife, Alice, and seriously injured Dr. Claver himself.
Chandu, as Dr. Claver is fondly called, is an icon held in very high regard
by doctors and colleagues in the health sector for his dedication in serving
the poor and marginalized. For more than a decade, he has worked with
grassroots communities through the community-based health programs (CBHPs)
in the Cordilllera region.
“Dr. Chandu has chosen to serve in areas where health care from
the government is almost non-existent. He led a simple life and dedicated
his time to uplifting the lives of his patients. Thus, the attack on him
and his family is atrocious not only in its intent but on the manner and
viciousness by which it was perpetrated.” decried Dr. Gene Alzona
Nisperos, HEAD Secretary-General. The couple’s vehicle was strafed
while on their way back from bringing their two children to school. Their
child, 7-year old Sandy, was with them during the attack. Although physically
unhurt, she is still in shock and may be traumatized for life.
HEAD believes that the military, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP),
is behind this attack. Through the AFP’s Oplan Bantay Laya, there
has been a systematic killing of militant activists, mass leaders, and
even journalists. These killings have been perpetrated with impunity but
rather than address the gross display of human rights violations, Mrs.
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo emulated the perpetrators by singling-out Gen.
Jovito Palparan in her recent State of the nation Address (SONA).
As such, HEAD holds Mrs. Arroyo directly accountable. “Are doctors
now considered enemies of the State and targets of Mrs. Arroyo’s
all-out war? Are doctors who choose to work in the far-flung areas outside
the ambit of government patronage now considered NPA supporters and can
be subjected to extrajudicial killing? Or are we just “acceptable
collateral damage” as Sec. Raul Gonzalez lucidly puts it?”
Added Dr. Nisperos. “It is clear that the impetus for the wanton
and escalating violence is the implicit approval of the ruling regime
and Mrs. Arroyo herself.”
By doing nothing more than token pronouncements, Mrs. Arroyo is sending
the message that her regime has no place for those who challenge her anti-people
policies, who she calls Leftists or communists, and will tolerate, even
instigate, their elimination through her so-called “War on Terror”.
The complicity of Mrs. Arroyo in the escalating wave of political killings
is clear and palpable, even as her stand is echoed by the AFP and PNP
in rationalizing the murders.
The blood of Mrs. Alice Claver, the 717 victims who came before her, as
well as the many more who will come after if the killings are not stopped,
are on the hands of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. HEAD condemns and rejects
Mrs. Arroyo’s dictatorship. We call on the people, especially doctors
and members of the health sector, to unite and fight the fascist violence
being imposed by Mrs. Arroyo, and end her all-out war against the Filipino
Reference: Dr. Gene Alzona
Mobile phone: 0916 2145724