HK Mission for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines The HK Mission is a collaborative effort of different grassroots groups in HK to contribute to the ongoing effort to defend human rights in the Philippines. The HK mission was held on 23 to 28 July, 2006 Organized in Hong Kong by the HK Campaign for the Advancement of Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (HKCAHRPP)
HK Mission for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines The Mission comprised persons from various sectors in HK, including members from the Bar Association, the Journalist Association, human rights NGOs, church, migrant and student groups.
HK Mission for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines The mission concentrated on the Central Luzon region, north of Manila. We met with the following persons or organizations during the fact-finding mission (FFM): 7 family members of victims who have been either killed or abducted; 1 child witness of an abduction
HK Mission for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines 2 victims of Harassment Counsels for the Defense of Liberties Chairperson of the New Patriotic Alliance Executive Directors of AI Philippines Batasan 6 (Crispin Beltran) Mayors (Plaridel, Hagonoy, Bulacan)
HK Mission for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines NCCP Bishop Alberto Ramento Task Force Usig Philippine Commission on Human Rights Justice, Peace & Integrity of Creation International Federation of Journalists Nation Union of Journalists of the Philippines
But when we made requests to meet with members of the Dept. Of Justice, Dept. of Agrarian Reform and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, we received no reply. HK Mission for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines
CODAL According to CODAL, 10 judges and 15 lawyers have been killed. The number of killings have increased, and many human rights lawyers have received death threats and are subjected to surveillance.
Crispin Beltran Ka Bel has been detained by the police at the Philippine Heart Center. He was reportedly arrested on the basis of a warrant issued 21 years ago. The other five Congress member are also facing legal attacks.
Philippine Human Rights Commission The lack of a functioning and credible witness protection system Should the HRC recommend the filing of criminal charges against members of the police, the military or any other alleged perpetrators, public prosecutors are given the authority to review the findings before the charge is filed. System of review only delays the process and often results in rejection.
Task Force Usig Sub Division of the PNP and report to the chief of PNP No time limit for the investigation of cases The independence of TFU is in question Investigate killings only and ignore abduction cases, as it requires a dead body in order to launch an investigation Deny any state involvement before future findings and investigation
Karen Empeno & Sherlyn Cadapan Members were told about more than 180 cases of forced disappearances. Sherlyn was reportedly assisting Karen in a research project. Witness related during the abduction, Sherlyn, who was pregnant, was kicked in the stomach by one of the abductors. Military report: Members of NPA Ignore the release order from Supreme Court
The Killing of Bishop Alberto Ramento Prior to his death, Bishop Ramento told the FFM members he had been receiving death threats due to criticism of the government and his vocal condemnation of extrajudicial killings and human rights violations A failed protection system by the police authorities PPT by the military “ Knowing the Enemy: Are We Missing the Point ” : Identify the church and church organizations as targets and “ enemies of the state ”
A Patterns Exists Part of the government ’ s plan to rid itself of the opposition parties; A pattern of a sharp increase in the number of killings where there are military detachments The perpetrators wear ski masks, camouflage or green garments. The killings are committed with guns.
A Patterns Exists Victims had affiliations with parties or organizations that were labeled by the government as “ communist ” or “ terrorist ” or associated with the NPA (New People ’ s Army) Killings have taken place in the victim ’ s homes or in public places, often carried out by individuals riding motorcycles. Military men?
A Patterns Exists Harassments and death threats target human rights advocates, members of progressive organizations, etc. Given the similarities in the profiles of the persons being targeted, it is clear that these killings are politically motivated.
Melo Commission Headed by former Supreme Court Justice Jose Melo to investigate the series of killings. All members have been appointed by the President. The commission has no power to charge anyone if they refuse to cooperate. No prosecutory power and no witness protection powers Began its investigation by hearing high-ranking police and military officers instead of the victims ’ families and witnesses
Recommendations from the HK Fact-Finding Mission Order the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the PNP to immediately ensure that no further killings of civilians occur; Investigate the killing or disappearance of any member of society; Independent body to investigate any allegations of human right abuses;
Recommendations from the HK Fact-Finding Mission No prior political approval or impediments should be created to obstruct the legal process emanating from investigations conducted by this body; Fully independent, well-resourced and secure witness protection system should be established.
Recommendations from the HK Fact-Finding Mission All perpetrators should receive appropriate punishment Adequate reparation to the victims or their families Halt the use of blacklists Protection to those who receive death threats Invite international experts and organizations to assist in the fact-finding and investigation process