Lawyers write UN, says GMA is repackaged as pitiful victim

Mar. 12, 2015

Lawyers belonging to the National Union of Peoples Lawyers submitted a letter to the United Nations to express their dismay on the complaint filed by the camp of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the alleged violation of her civil and political rights.

The letter was addressed to Vladimir Tochilovsky who chairs the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in the UN.

According to Atty. Edre Olalia, secretary general of NUPL, the former president’s complaint in the UN WGAD “is essentially repackaging a violator of human rights into a pitiful victim.”

Olalia wrote the previous UN findings on the cases of political killings in the country undertaken by UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Summary and Extrajudicial Executions Prof. Philip Alston in 2007.

“[Prof. Alston] indicted the Arroyo government for gross, vicious and systematic violations of human rights and said that the military under her command was in a state of denial for the killings, disappearances, torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions of hundreds of innocent civilians,” Olalia said.

NUPL narrated that in 2008, the UN Human Rights Committee held the Arroyo administration and her “poster boy of impunity”, then Col. Jovito Palparan, guilty of violating the rights of human rights defenders Eden Marcellana and Eddie Gumanoy for the 2004 brutal extrajudicial killing of the two.

According to Olalia, the Committee found the Arroyo administration guilty of having “violated the right to life of every person, the right to liberty and security of persons and the rights to effective remedies under the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”.
“The Committee’s view unfortunately remains ignored and unenforced by her administration and the present Aquino administration,” Olalia said.

“But we shall leave the burden of answering her allegations with the Philippine Government as State Party to the ICCPR even as we consider that more serious charges of human rights violations should have been filed for the longest time by the present government,” said Olalia adding that they call on the former president to “come to court with clean hands.”

The group of lawyers is also inviting the WGAD to look into the complaints filed by victims of human rights violations under the Arroyo government.

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