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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES: Joint Statement by Japanese NGOs concerning political killings in the Philippines on the occasion of President Arroyo's visit to Japan

23 May 2007
[Japan Section]
Region: REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
Topic: Individual at risk
On the Occasion of President Arroyo's visit to Japan, Japanese NGOs and Filipinos living in Japan will get together in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.The groups handed over to the Philippine embassy a petition letter to Mrs. Arroyo
The following is the NGO joint statement to Persident Arroyo.

To: President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Cc: Director General Oscar Calderon
Chief , Philippine National Police

Lt. General Hermogenes C. Esperon Jr.
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of The Philippines

Raul Gonzales
Secretary of Justice,

22 May 2007

Dear Ms. President,

We, the undersigned, have expressed grave
concerns over the sharp increase in the number of political killings since you became President in 2001, and have repeatedly called upon the Philippine Government to address this problem.

We welcome the fact that the Philippine
government announced, last February, a six- point action plan that includes 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.

While we have witnessed some progress, such as investigations of military officers suspected of involvement in killings, and the decision to withdraw those military units (Civic Action Troops) deployed in urban poor districts which are notorious for abuses against residents, there are continuing reports of killings and forced disappearances of activists in your country. We are particularly disturbed by reports that over a hundred people, including 55 politicians and election candidates, were murdered between January 14 and the beginning of May this year.

We therefore reiterate our calls to you, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and
the Philippine National Police to:
- Immediately stop using the policy of targeting civilian organizations and individual activists;
- Condemn all political killings consistently and at every level of government;
- Implement the six-point action plan without delay; and
- Ensure that those responsible for
political killings are brought to justice in
accordance with international standards.

Respectfully,


Amnesty International Japan
Human Rights Now
WAYAWAYA
Philippines Committee, National Christian Council in Japan
Tokyo & Yokohama People's Network against Political Killings in the Philippines
Kansai Action Center on Philippine Human Rights Issues
Campaign for Future of Filipino Children (CFFC)
Nagoya People's Network against the Political Killings in the Philippines
Filipino Migrants Center(FMC)
Amnesty International WAYA Group
Nagoya Center for Philippine Concerns
Campaign to Stop the Abuse of Asian Children and to Safeguard Their Rights
(CASPAR)


Contact:
Amnesty International Japan
2-2-4F Kanda-NIshiki-cho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 101-0054 JAPAN
TEL:+81-3-3518-6777 FAX:+81-3-3518-6778

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