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Philippines urged to stop killings, other rights abuses

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Philippines urged to stop killings, other rights abuses

“They [the international community] know that the Philippine government has not lived up to its commitment to completely eliminate extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture.” – Fr. Jonash Joyohoy of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) and co-head of delegation of the Philippine UPR Watch

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat.com

MANILA – Several countries expressed alarm, during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the Philippines in Geneva, Switzerland May 29, over the unabated extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations in the Philippines

The UPR is a mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights Council to review compliance of all 192 UN member states to international human rights agreements. The first UPR in the Philippines was in 2008.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, head of the 29-member Philippine delegation, presented the country’s national report stating the Philippine government’s efforts in addressing concerns on human rights such as the creation of a task force to address extrajudicial killings, enactment and amendment of several laws, human rights education among state security forces, among others.

Sixty-seven countries participated in the discussion on the Philippines. While some countries noted some positive achievements by the Philippine government, many raised the issue of continuing human rights violations under the Aquino administration.

The representative of France said it is “alarmed by extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances and continuing violations against journalists and human rights defenders.”

The delegate of Japan said “extrajudicial killings continue as a significant political issue.”

The delegates of the United Kingdom, Spain and the Holy See called on the Philippine government to “completely eradicate extrajudicial killings.”

Citing the report of Task Force Usig from 2008 to 2011, the Philippine government claims that there were only 27 activists and media practitioners killed during the period. The Task Force Usig of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was created during the Arroyo administration purportedly to investigate cases of extrajudicial killings of activists and journalists. Recently, Col. Domingo Tutaan, head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Human Rights Office said they recorded zero human rights violations during the first quarter of the year.

Reports from independent human rights group Karapatan, however, show that there have been 76 victims of extrajudicial killings and nine victims of enforced disappearances since Aquino took office. Karapatan, and other Church and people’s organizations filed separate submissions to the Council..... MORE

SourceBulatlat.com

URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/06/01/philippines-urged-to-stop-killings-other-rights-abuses/

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