Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Philippines: US State Department Annual Human Rights Report

RP ‘climate of impunity’ scored in annual rights report

By RODNEY JALECO
ABS-CBN North America News Bureau


WASHINGTON D.C. - The US State Department released Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) its annual human rights report, citing among others, the Philippines for the “climate of impunity” in the murder of journalists, churchmen and political activists.

“Members of the security services committed acts of physical and psychological abuse on suspects and detainees, and there were instances of torture,” the report said.

The report was prepared by the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. “During the year there were a number of arbitrary, unlawful, and extrajudicial killings apparently by elements of the security services and of political killings, including killings of journalists, by a variety of actors.”

The report comes amid mounting international pressure against the Arroyo administration. Last month, several Northern California religious leaders met with Jennifer Tang, a staff of California Sen. Barbara Boxer about alleged human rights abuses in the Philippines.

Boxer is the new chairperson of the East Asian Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

One of the complainants, Presbyterian Rev. Larry Emery of Sacramento, California alleged he and other church members were detained by the military while visiting a rural village on a humanitarian mission last year. They were accused of being rebel sympathizers. Emery claimed the only reason they were not harmed was because he was an American citizen.

But the State Department report also assailed the New People’s Army for the use of landmines and suggested they were behind some of the activists’ murders.

The said the “climate of impunity” was bred in part by “widely held and accurate public perception” that the 115,000-man Philippine National Police (PNP) was corrupt.

“Members of the PNP were regularly accused of torture, of soliciting bribes, and of other illegal acts,” it noted, adding though that, “Efforts were underway to reform the institution in part to counter a widespread impression of official impunity”.

The report said that while PNP officers appear to be receptive to respecting human rights, “rank-and-file awareness… remained inadequate”.

The report noted that while the Arroyo administration “attempted interference in the freedom of the press and right of assembly” during the weeklong State of Emergency early last year, “the government generally respected these rights in practice”.

“The media were active and expressed a wide variety of views without restriction. Broadcast and print media were freewheeling and often criticized for lacking rigorous journalistic ethics,” it averred.

“They tended to reflect the particular political or economic orientations of owners, publishers, or patrons, some of whom were close associates of present or past high-level officials.”

But it was more critical of the violent assault on media practitioners. “In some situations,” the report showed, “it was difficult to discern if violence against journalists was carried out in retribution for their profession or if these journalists were the victims of random crime.”

Among the incidents named in the report were the killings of environmental activist Elpidio dela Victoria in Cebu; CPP-NDF leader Sotero Llamas in Albay; Alice Claver, wife of Bayan Muna leader Constancio Claver in an ambush in Kalinga province (Constancio was himself wounded in the attack); and Methodist church pastor Isaias Sta. Rosa in Albay.

The report also noted the lack of progress in the prosecution of suspects in the killing of striking workers at Hacienda Luisita; the March 2005 murder of Bayan Muna coordinator Felidito Dacut; and the deaths of United Church of Christ pastors in May and August 2005.

The report relied on the NGO Kabataan Consortium when it said at least 76 people were liquidated by vigilantes in Davao City last year; another 70 in Cebu. But the report added the killings appear to have popular support because the victims allegedly had ties to crime in the area.

Related Link:
UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR CALLS FOR CHANGES TO THE PHILIPPINES’ HUMAN SECURITY ACT

Labels:

4 Comments:

Blogger oakleyses said...

tiffany and co, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses cheap, louboutin, cheap uggs, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet stores, ugg boots clearance, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton handbags, air max, jordan shoes, nike shoes, uggs, longchamp outlet, ugg outlet, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, uggs outlet, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, louboutin outlet, rolex watches, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, burberry outlet, longchamp handbags, polo ralph lauren, oakley sunglasses, prada handbags, longchamp handbags, nike free, christian louboutin, tiffany and co, air max, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online sale, tory burch outlet, replica watches, gucci outlet, michael kors outlet

11:22 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

true religion jeans, polo lacoste, vanessa bruno, hogan outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, michael kors uk, new balance pas cher, air max pas cher, north face, coach outlet, vans pas cher, coach outlet store online, oakley pas cher, longchamp, nike tn, louboutin, nike roshe run pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, coach purses, kate spade outlet, chanel handbags, true religion outlet, sac burberry, true religion outlet, michael kors, mulberry, nike blazer, true religion jeans, hollister, michael kors pas cher, timberland, coach factory outlet, air max, hollister, air jordan, polo ralph lauren, sac guess, ray ban pas cher, nike air force, kate spade handbags, converse pas cher, north face, nike free pas cher, sac hermes, lululemon outlet online

11:44 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

juicy couture, pandora charms, ugg, wedding dresses, michael kors handbags, pandora charms, ugg, ralph lauren, abercrombie, louboutin, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, juicy couture outlet, montre homme, swarovski crystal, vans, hollister, louis vuitton uk, pandora jewelry, karen millen, sac louis vuitton, oakley, michael kors outlet, rolex watches, ray ban, swarovski, sac lancel, coach outlet store online, ugg boots, links of london, ugg, marc jacobs, ugg pas cher, air max, converse, doke gabbana, supra shoes, toms shoes, gucci, michael kors outlet online, converse shoes, louis vuitton, sac louis vuitton

11:50 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

soccer shoes, timberland boots, hollister clothing store, nike trainers, mac cosmetics, valentino shoes, nike roshe, abercrombie and fitch, jimmy choo outlet, air max, abercrombie and fitch, air max, asics running shoes, nike air max, babyliss pro, lululemon outlet, longchamp, soccer jerseys, reebok outlet, bottega veneta, wedding dresses, chi flat iron, ferragamo shoes, new balance shoes, birkin bag, mcm handbags, iphone cases, p90x, north face outlet, vans shoes, hollister, nike huaraches, beats by dre, nike roshe run, mont blanc, insanity workout, giuseppe zanotti, herve leger, celine handbags, ralph lauren, ghd, baseball bats, instyler, nike free, north face jackets, nfl jerseys

11:59 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

free web counter
free web counter