But near the end of his most excellent essay, I must say, his cloak of elegant prose could not completely conceal the fact that this "People's Tribunal" is a Court with Kangaroo feet, even if it has those most humane faces above. MLQ3 is acutely aware of the fly in the ointment when he writes,
There is, of course, the question of the rather formidable presence and participation of communists in the Citizen's Congress. This is manifested in, among others, the unfortunate selection of the term "presidium" to describe the panel of presiders and lead questioners in the CCTA. The presence of communists in the CCTA is a non-issue, unless you believe that the only good communist is a dead one. My personal abhorrence of Communism as an ideology ends where the right of any Filipino to adopt and express an ideology begins. Indeed, my personal inclination is that communist participation in our political life is only objectionable when the ideology is expressed through violent means; and even then, for non-communists, the overarching principle should be the elimination of the inequalities that drive Filipinos to take up arms against their fellow Filipinos, not the extermination of communist rebels. Furthermore, I strongly believe that the liquidation of communist leaders and cadres engaged in political work is wrong and deserves the attention of society.Among all the participants of Bukluran and the broad anti-GMA Opposition, the "Communists," whose civil rights MLQ3 so carefully tiptoes around, are unique and different from everyone else in the following senses:
1. The communists are the only ones who will NOT categorically reject violence as the principal means of political and social change;
2. They are the only ones who maintain a substantial standing army of armed extortionists masquerading as guerillas and "liberators" of the people in the form of the New People's Army; and,
3. The CPP/NPA are the only participants who have officially been designated as FOREIGN TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS four times in a row under annual review by the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the European Union under their existing anti-Terrorism Laws in those countries.
Of course, to the extent that no one actually participating in the procedings will readily admit to acting in representation of the CPP/NPA, I would agree to the genteel civility indicated by MLQ3.
But let's not kid ourselves. This thing is going nowhere with the public if it becomes a Leftist Ranting Session on US Imperialism, domestic feudalism, and bureaucrat capitalism, a soapbox for every preacher of the religion of resentment to get up on and castigate the dastardly, dastardly US-Arroyo dictatorship. No matter how many nuns and priests show up. People aren't stupid.
I'm glad MLQ3 wrote this piece. It has convinced me of the People's "Tribunal's" fatal flaw--It may be dominated by communists whose true endeavour has nothing to do with Democracy at all!