Press Release
May 31, 2006

Activists deaths give life to insurgency Recto

Killing activists will not end anti-administration protests or even insurgency but on the contrary will give life to it, Sen. Ralph Recto today said.

Those who are practicing the better dead than Red policy could trigger a better Red than dead reaction among activists who, for fear of their lives, will give up legal struggle and take to the hills instead, Recto warned.

This fear factor is the one that fuels revolts, Recto said.

The reason why the armed underground movement has lost steam is that many of those who built its infrastructure have gone legal, Recto said.

So if you will close the democratic space that has been opened up for militants, by killing them or their friends, you force them to go underground, the only available venue for them, he said.

Should that happen, then government becomes the armed Lefts best recruiter, he said.

Recto also disputed claims that eliminating leaders of Bayan Muna would paralyze the operations of the grassroots group or cow their members into submission.

On the contrary, it would embolden them. They now have reason to rally. They now have a cause. It becomes personal, too. It adds mystique to the movement, he said.

If you look at the structure of the NPA, they are organized along commands or fronts named after fallen comrades, almost all of whom started out as legal activists before the closing democratic space forced them to bring their battle to another arena, Recto said.

If you kill these people, many would come forward to take their place, on whose memory the struggle will be continued. Salvaging has never been a deterrent to political activism, he said.

Recto advised those behind the murders of Bayan Muna activists to stop what they are doing because instead of killing off militant groups, you are in fact making them strong. The blood of its members is what nourishes the movement, he said.

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