Press Release
August 30, 2007


The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights has set its eyes on investigating the widespread extra judicial executions in the country after the committee has been formally constituted and finalized last week.

Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero, chairman of the committee said human rights violations perpetrated by military elements as well as armed groups in the country will both be examined with the same determination pointing out that "human rights violation exempts and protects no one from being punished by the law."

Escudero said this area is one of the focal targets which he had identified at the onset of his chairmanship of the said committee. "We will definitely dig deeper into this alarming situation and we intend to perform the necessary inquiries with the end view of bringing to court those responsible parties and make them pay for their crimes."

"There should not be any looking away anymore in as far as instituting measures to prosecute and punish the perpetrators are concerned, regardless of what spectrum they belong to."

The neophyte senator said the matter of summary executions in the country has already reached a very alarming and disturbing figure so much so that even foreign governments have already expressed grave concern over it.

Several reports from different human rights groups have estimated more than 800 cases of extrajudicial crimes from the time President Gloria Arroyo took power in 2001, and to date majority of these cases have gathered dust in the bin.

"This is a sorry and worrisome state of affair in the country. People are already losing trust in the rule of law which is proving to be weak in this face of the country. We need to turn back that impression by showing that we in the business of government are very much willing and able to proceed with the wheel of justice."

Escudero said the committee intends to initiate proactive actions in so far as the protection and guarantee of human rights as provided for and enshrined in the Constitution is concerned.

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