Press Release
March 3, 2006

Press statement of Sen. Jamby Madrigal

Even if Mrs. Arroyo has lifted the state of emergency, it is of no consequence, since her policy towards repression and oppression of human rights remains. That is why today, I have filed with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland a complaint against Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her continuing, consistent, systematic, widespread violation of human rights. Our country is already in a state of martial law where the rule of law of no longer exists.

I have resorted to the United Nations Special Procedure and asked the Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Expression to hold the Philippine State accountable for its human rights violations. Mrs. Arroyo, in her desperate attempt to cling to power, is doing everything and anything to silence legitimate opposition and dissent.

The warrantless arrests, calibrated preemptive response against public assemblies including prayer rallies, threats and intimidations against the press, and opposition leaders should now be stopped. Mrs. Arroyo has violated Article 17 and 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which respectively deals with the right of every individual to freedom of expression and against arbitrary arrests. The Philippines is a signatory to this covenant. Copies of my complaint were also sent to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other international groups.

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