REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES: Addressing the Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines on the Occasion of President Arroyo's Visit

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9 May 2007
Topic: Individual at risk
21 NGOs calls on Prime Minister ABE and Foreign Minister ASO to make a clear message to President Arroyo, who plan to visit Japan this month, to end political killings in the Philippines.

To: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Foreign Minister Taro Aso

Subject: Addressing the Extrajudicial Killings in the Philippines
On the Occasion of President Arroyo's Visit

Dear Prime Minister Abe:
Dear Foreign Minister Aso:

We, the undersigned, have expressed grave concerns over the sharply increasing extrajudicial killings during the Arroyo administration in the Philippines and have continuously called upon the Philippine Government to address this problem.

We were encouraged by your mentioning these killings at the Japan-Philippine Foreign Ministers meeting on 8 December 2006 and the Japan-Philippines summit meeting on 9 December 2006, formally expressing the "great concern among the Japanese with the human rights situation in the Philippines."

Though the Philippine government has announced a six point action plan-including the investigation of command responsibility, the creation of special courts to handle cases of political killings, and enhancement of the Witness Protection Program in response to the Melo Commission report-activists continue to be targeted. In particular, the fact that an activist who provided testimony to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions was killed should be a matter of shame for the Philippines as a current member of the Human Rights Council. Furthermore, impunity prevails for the perpetrators and almost no compensation is paid to victims. The Philippine government denies the involvement of its armed forces and attributes most of the killings to the New People's Army.

Despite such circumstances, local Philippine press reports state that the governments of Japan and the Philippines may sign an Exchange of Notes of the 27th ODA loan agreement on the occasion of President Arroyo's visit to Tokyo. Unconditionally resuming ODA loans to the Philippines under these circumstances appears to contradict your expression of concern and sends a misleading message to the Philippine government.

In the Japan - Philippine Joint Statement made in December, "the two leaders emphasized the importance of sustaining harmony, upholding democratic values and protecting human rights, as well as preserving the environment and social well being with respect to general governance and to the implementation of the official development assistance." In considering the resumption of the ODA loan, the Japanese Government should at least make sure that the Philippine Government genuinely implements its six-point plan.

We urge you to raise these concerns with President Arroyo and demand that she takes appropriate measures to stop the extrajudicial killings, hold those who committed them accountable, and ensure due process for the victims.

Yours truly,

7 May 2007

Amnesty International Japan
Campaign for Future of Filipino Children (CFFC)
Campaign to Stop the abuse of Asian children and to safeguard their Rights (CASPAR)
Friends of the Earth Japan
Fukuoka-Chiku Godourouso (Fukuoka Joint Workers Union)
Human Rights Now
Human Rights Watch
Jubilee Kansai Network
Kansai Action Center on Philippine Human Rights Issues
Nagoya Center for Philippine Concerns
Nagoya People's Network against the Political Killings in the Philippines
Network for Asian Workers in KANSAI(NAW)
People to People Aid(P2)
Philippine Peace Cycle
Philippines Committee, National Christian Council in Japan
Philippines Halohalo Network Fukuoka
Solidarity Forum for Human Rights, Justice and Peace
Support Groups for TMPCWA
Yokohama Action Research Center

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