Press Release
June 15, 2006

Press statement of Sen. Jamby Madrigal

Sometime next week, Representative Satur Ocampo and I will leave for Geneva, Switzerland to personally bring to the attention of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), the worsening human rights situation in the Philippines. The UNHCHR will be holding their 13thsession of the Meeting of Special Rapporteurs/Representatives/Independent Experts on June 19-23, 2006.

As a member of the Philippines Senate, I personally lodged a complaint before the UNHCHR last March 2006. I personally spoke to an official from the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression on this matter and he has asked me to submit my evidences. Representative Ocampo and I will visit the UNHCHR in Geneva for this purpose. We shall bring into the attention of the UNHCHR the gravity of the situation here.

We resort to the United Nations Special Procedure to hold the Philippine State accountable for its human rights violations. According to KARAPATAN, since Gloria Macapagal Arroyo assumed power in 2001, more than 600 individuals have been extra-judicially killed, around 200 hundred political activists have disappeared, and 150 people have been victims of attempted extra-judicial killings. This means that 2 people are either being extra judicially killed, or forced into disappearance every week.

Justice is elusive in the Philippines, we have no recourse but to resort to this Special Procedure in the United Nations to prevent impunity and to stop the return of draconian rule in the Philippines, This procedure is the last straw of hope in a country plunged in a deep political crisis where the rule of law hangs by a thread.

Should we be successful in our mission, we shall ask the UNHCHR to send a Special Rapporteur to the Philippines to conduct an investigation. We shall also ask that, the Philippines be removed from the Human Rights Council since its Government has lost the moral ascendancy to protect the rights of the people.

To borrow Mrs. Arroyos words last Independence Day, the day of reckoning has arrived to hold the Philippines Government liable for their actions.

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