Press Release
May 9, 2009

Press Statement of Senator Loren Legarda

On UN report on gov't 'inaction' on summary killings

Stopping extrajudicial killings in the country, a continuing concern of the United Nations (UN) as expressed by its special rapporteur Philip Alston, will be a big challenge to the next administration as it will have to undo years of what the UN called a "culture of n impunity." More than reorienting the mindset of security forces being blamed for the killings and other political crimes against activists, journalists and people organizations, the next government must tackle the roots of the problem -- dehumanizing poverty, social injustice and lack of equity among sectors of society.

The second UN report is damning to the outgoing administration than the first UN report by Alston two years ago because, in a nutshell, it says that a problem had been identified but that it had remained unsolved or unacted upon by authorities.

On US health expert tagging H1NI as 'overhyped'

There's that old saying that "it is better to err on the side of caution." We must keep in mind this adage in the face of the statement by US health officials belittling the possible impact on populations of the swine flu virus. A cavalier attitude towards the virus may result to complacency on the part of the authorities in dealing and on effecting measures against it spread.

Our own health officials and all government officials tasked to deal with this health threat must continue with what they are doing in order to by all means prevent the entry of the virus into our country. We must not allow false bravado as expressed by other people to be cited as an excuse to lower our own guards down against this virus which, according to the World Health Organization, has the potential to become a pandemic. It is better to be safe than sorry.

On Shell preparing to relocate from Pandacan depot

The corporate stance taken by Shell to follow the Supreme Court order for it and other oil companies to relocate from the Pandacan oil depot is laudable, although it had expressed concerns about the difficulty of transferring and of the possibility of oil companies being forced to vacate anew their new relocation site.

The rule of law must prevail and the safety of people around an oil depot and similar structures must be ensured by the government. But the concerns raised by Shell must be tackled, deliberated upon by all sectors and parties concerned so that viable solutions can be effected. After all, such concerns may affect the supply and prices of fuel in the country, which would impact negatively on our economy. There's a win-win solution here -- of ensuring the safety of people by finding a suitable relocation site for the depot.

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