It’s peak season for violence and widespread organized killings in the Philippines this time. Recently, so many public officials at local and national levels were brutally assassinated. This followed months of reported disappearances and summary executions of known leaders and members of left-leaning groups. Victims include members of the clergy and students. Fingers are mostly pointed to state agents. But government officials claim that those killed are victims of the alleged internal purges of the insurgent groups to eliminate suspected military spies. Meanwhile, widespread violence and killings escalate to a level far worse than in any politically-troubled developing countries of the world.

Fast escalating widespread violence and bloodshed is timed at near election times

Not all increases in violence and bloodshed are related to the silent war of political rivals. As I have attempted to point out loudly, powerful organized crime groups with connections or protections of the erring highest ranking officials take full advantage of the election period melee. Not until recently, most elected and appointed public officials condoned the killings. Now that more and victims are of their own kind, they must have begun to worry enough to publicly and sincerely condemn the killings. The local media and the general public are rightly outraged – but alarming that the many among the common people only feel that way because they wish someone else killed.

This is a call to the international community to please help raise these concerns among our top level officials. If the world – and the western press – pays more attention, the violence and killings can be curbed significantly. But reminders should be audible enough to the ears of the public officials (here in the Philippines) whose minds are so captured by their obsessions to stay in power by winning the elections (if there would be any in May 2007) at all costs. I believe that the infrastructure of the law enforcement agencies of the country is capable enough to address this horrible and disgusting widespread violence and killings (mostly under reported) if so pressed by sincere international and local institutions. We should all be concerned and worried.