Friday, January 22, 2010


The Human Rights Watch 2010 World Report scored both President Obama and State Secretary Hillary Clinton for not raising the problem of extrajudicial killings when they met with President Arroyo last year.

“The United States is the most influential ally....neither she (Clinton) nor Obama pressed Arroyo to address continuing impunity for extrajudicial killings,” the report concluded.

President Arroyo met with both President Obama and Secretary Clinton during a working visit to Washington DC last year.

Mrs. Clinton later visited Manila during a side-trip of the APEC Leaders Summit in Singapore.

“Every government is at times tempted to violate human rights. To encourage governments to resist that temptation, the human rights movement seeks to raise the price of abuse – to shift the cost-benefit calculus behind a government’s action,” said Kenneth Roth in the Introduction of the 2010 World Report.

“Certain abusive governments are engaged in an intense round of attacks on human rights defenders, organizations and institutions. The aim is to silence the messenger, to deflect the pressure, to lessen the cost of committing human rights violations,” Roth added.

The Human Rights Watch report on the Philippines said, “UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Philip Alston observed that while the government has taken some steps to address extrajudicial killings, it fails to implement needed reforms such as institutionalizing the principle of command responsibility.

“He also noted that the military has not changed its counterinsurgency methods to eliminate the likelihood of unlawful killings.”

The report added, “Optimism over Supreme Court writs to compel military and other government officials to release information on people in their custody was dampened by difficulty in enforcing the writs of amparo and habeas data.”

It cited the cases of Karen Empeno and Sherlyn Cadapan where the court failed to enforce the writs.

The report likewise criticized death squads that target petty criminals, drug dealers, gang members and street children.

More than 900 were killed by Davao City death squads since 1998, the report said, but courts “faced obstructions and unnecessary bureaucratic delays”.

Human Rights Watch called attention to the plight of overseas Filipino workers.

“While the Philippine government has made some efforts to support and protect migrant domestic workers, many women continue to experience abuses abroad including unpaid wages, food deprivation, forced confinement in the workplace, and physical and sexual abuse.”

No comments:

Post a Comment