Akbayan extends its deepest condolence to the family, friends and comrades of Romulo “Rolly” Kintanar who was treacherously killed last January 23 in Quezon City.
We condemn the killing of Romulo Kintanar. His violent death frontally assaults our national community’s commitment to human rights. His killers, the leadership of the CPP-NPA, gunned him down on the basis of a decision of a so-called “people’s court” which never heard his side, never adopted even a semblance of due process and whose members were never known to the public and were only accountable to Rolly’s accusers.
We also find unconscionable the brazen and arrogant manner by which his killers owned up to the killing. Without decency and fairness and in complete disregard of one of the cherished values of our people—respect for the dead, Rolly’s killers continue to insult his memory and trample on his dead body.
A major part of the circumstances which surround Rolly’s death was his decision in 1992 to reject the Communist Party leadership of Jose Ma. Sison. That his decision was informed by ideological, political and organizational differences with other leaders of the party is a matter of public knowledge and record. We cannot understand and accept why such differences should lead to physical elimination.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the worldwide crisis of the Left which followed in its wake, much of socialist, democratic and revolutionary soul-searching has led to a greater appreciation of democratic pluralism and principled discourse as guides to handle ideological and political differences within the Left and progressive communities.
Not many of what Rolly did after he left the party can be appreciated, much less accepted within a Left perspective. But while we differed with him on some of the choices he made, we don’t believe and can never accept that such should warrant the fate he suffered.
In the face of rising tensions and stronger calls for revenge among sections of the Left, we call for sobriety and greater circumspection. An armed reprisal can only result in more violence, thus harming not only each other but the entire Left and friends in the progressive movement. We urge all comrades in the Left and friends in the progressive movement to exert every effort towards a political and peaceful handling of the situation.
Akbayan also expresses alarm at the government’s handling of Rolly’s death. Its duty first and foremost is to arrest the culprits and bring them to court. Yet, leaders of the defense establishment, the AFP and the PNP are bent on extending this to launching anti-communist witch-hunts and police and military strikes that will likely lead to human rights violations and more assaults on the peace of our communities. Akbayan will oppose any attempt to use the death of Rolly to advance militaristic and anti-democratic designs.
For the EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Marie Victa-Labajo, Secretary General
Chairperson : Prof. Walden Bello Members At-Large: Tom Villarin
Vice-Chairperson : Suharto Ambolodto Carmel Abao
President : Joel Rocamora Risa Hontiveros
Vice President : Ric Reyes Ronald Llamas
Atty. Byron Bocar