Gloria Arroyo administration accused of more human
rights violations before the UN body
Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) in an alternate report
today to the United Nations Human Rights Committee accused President
Gloria Arroyo administration of more human rights violations. The
United Nations Human Rights Committee is examining the second periodic
report of the government of the Philippines (CCPR/C/PHL/2002/2).
promotion and protection of human rights in the Philippines is spectacular
on paper but it is a classic case of failure at implementation"
- stated Mr. Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
President Gloria Arroyo took over in February 2001, there were reports
of torture of 49 persons, of which 37 occurred in 2002, clearly
indicating increase of torture.
Arroya administration reintroduced death penalty under the Republic
Act 7659 and death hangs over 175 convicts, including 12 minors.
As of September 2003, there were seven children who were awarded
death penalty and being detained in Cell 215, Medium Security Compound
at New Bilibid Prison. The security forces have extrajducially executed
44 persons in 2001 and 41 persons in 2002. The government vigilantes
and the armed opposition groups such as Moro Islamic Liberation
Front, New Peoples Army and Abu Sayyaf Group have also been responsible
for violations of the right to life.
ACHR stated that the extension of the term of Commissioner for National
Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) rather than extending it
for the full term or appoint another chair for a full term has serious
implications on the independence of the Commissioner for proper
implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, 1997. The activities
of the NCIP, especially on the delineation and titling of ancestral
domains, have been hamstrung by the lack of adequate funding, bureaucratic
hitches, and the inexperience of NCIP itself.
ACHR requested the United Nations Human Rights Committee to recommend
abolition of death penalty, transfer the juvenile delinquents who
have been awarded death penalty from prisons to juvenile homes,
take measures to end extrajudicial executions, disband the vigilante
groups, amend laws to broaden the definition of torture to include
all forms of torture, ban hamleting of indigenous peoples by the
security forces and ensure the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act prevails
over the Mining Act of 1995 in case of conflict between the two.[END]
more information please call Director of Asian Centre for Human
Rights in New Delhi, India at +91-11-25503624 or 25620583