Arroyo Regime’s Abuses Qualify as ‘Crimes Against Humanity’: Hague Tribunal

Mar. 26, 2007

Verdict. Members of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal hearing the charges against Arroyo in The Hague, the Netherlands.(photo courtesy of

The Permanent Peoples’ Tribune, the same body that investigated and later denounced the atrocities of the Marcos dictatorship, has concluded that the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is responsible for the extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses in the Philippines. “The wealth and consistency of the oral and written documentation made available through witnesses and expert reports, has convinced the PPT that each and all of the three charges presented against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her Government, and against George Walker Bush and his Government are substantiated,” the tribunal said in its verdict released today.

“The extension and the systematic nature of the violations of the rights of the Filipino people committed by the governments of Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and with the support and full awareness of the government of George Walker Bush, qualify the same violations as crimes against humanity,” it added.

Below is the tribunal’s verdict:

1. Origin and jurisdiction of the Permanent Peoples Tribunal

The Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) is an international opinion tribunal, independent from any State authority. It examines cases regarding violations of human rights and rights of peoples.

Promoted by the Lelio Basso International Foundation for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples, the PPT was founded in June 1979, in Bologna, Italy, by a broad spectrum of law experts, writers, and other cultural and community leaders (including five Nobel Prize laureates) from 31 countries. PPT is rooted in the historical experience of the Russell Tribunals on Vietnam (1966-67) and the dictatorships in Latin America (1974-1976). The importance and strength of decisions by the PPT rest on the moral weight of the causes and arguments to which they give credibility, and their recognition in the UN Commission on Human Rights

Complaints heard by the Tribunal are submitted by the victims, or groups or individuals representing them. The PPT calls together all parties concerned and offers the defendants the possibility to make their own arguments heard. The Jury is selected for each case by combining members who belong to a permanent list of jurors, and individuals who are recognized for their competence and integrity.

From June 1979 to the present date the PPT has held 32 sessions.

In 1980, just one year after its foundation, the Permanent Peoples Tribunal responded to an appeal from the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to examine the human rights situation under the Marcos dictatorial regime. Following five days of hearings and deliberation (October 30 to November 3 in Antwerp) the PPT found the Marcos regime guilty of political suppression and abuse of power in violation of the rights of the Filipino people. The PPT also condemned the political, economic and military complicity with the US and other foreign powers.

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