Philippines Determined to Stop Human Rights Violations

Apr. 19, 2007

MANILA — Malacanang assured today that more than anyone else, the Philippine government is determined to put an end to the issue of political violence and human rights violations in the country.

Press Secretary and concurrent Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said the government is “working in an open and transparent way” and with the support of international partners to put an end to human rights violations.

The Press Secretary issued the statement as he welcomed the decision of the Geneva-based International Parliamentary Union (IPU) to send a fact-finding mission to the Philippines to help the government address the issue concerning human rights.

“We always welcome the interest of well-meaning organizations in developments of mutual interest in the Philippines. On the issue of human rights, we all share the deep desire to bring the legacy of political violence in the Philippines to an end,” Bunye said.

“In the meantime, the Philippines is working in an open and transparent way to solve this issue in concert with our international partners, once and for all,” he added.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself is a staunch advocate of human rights that with the increasing number of killings in the country, she created last year the Melo Commission to look into such cases.

Immediately upon receipt of the initial Melo Commission report, the President called on the victims relatives and witnesses to cooperate in the resolution of the cases. As the Melo report was still “incomplete,” she asked the Commission to continue with its task of solving the killings.

The President also asked the Department of Justice to create special courts for the speedy resolution of cases involving the killings of journalists and leftist activists.

She likewise asked the international community, including the European Union, to help the Philippine government attain its goal to put a stop to these killings. (OPS)

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