PIA Press Release
Saturday, March 05, 2011
PNoy urged to sign covenant vs enforced disappearance
by Aileen Refuerzo
BAGUIO CITY, Mar 5 (PIA) – City aldermen here are urging President Benigno S. Aquino III to sign the International Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearance and to certify the same to the Senate for ratification.
The body approved a resolution authored by Sangguniang Kabataan Federation president Councilor Karminn Cheryl Dinney Yangot.
In her measure, Yangot said the United Nations International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance entered into force in December last year and the said Convention calls on States parties to investigate acts of enforced disappearance and make accountable those who are responsible, to criminalize enforced disappearance of a person, and to guarantee that victims of enforced disappearance or those directly affected by it will have the right to compensation and other forms of reparation.
Yangot noted that the Philippines has not ratified, let alone signed, the said Convention in spite of a commitment made before the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2007.
“The ratification of the Convention will be an affirmation of the commitment to human rights of the Philippine government, which is known for its role as one of the states that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948,” she stressed.
Yangot in her resolution cited the following facts:
“In April 2008, Human Rights Now, a Tokyo, Japan-based non-government organization established after a fact-finding mission to the Philippines, that ‘hundreds of social activists and human rights defenders' have been unlawfully killed as well as subjected to enforced disappearances since the Arroyo Administration came into power” under a culture of impunity by state security forces acting under “the national counter-insurgency policy which does not differentiate between the New Peoples Army, armed rebels and legal organizations and activists;"
“The Human Rights Now report validated the findings of Prof. Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions on his visit to the Philippines in 2007, which findings are immortalized in the United Nations repository of documents;
“In 2007, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) named the Philippines as one of the Asia’s top eight countries in Asia where activists forcibly disappeared under a culture of impunity;
“The Supreme Court of the Philippines issued on 01 March 2007, Administrative Order No. 25-2007, which designated ninety-nine Regional Trial Courts to hear cases involving extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances;
“The same Supreme court, noting the insufficiency of the Writ of Habeas Corpus to respond to cases of enforced disappearances, issued rules on the Writ of Amparo as an additional remedy;
“The above acts of the Supreme Court are an acknowledgement that cases of enforced disappearances are rampant in the country and demonstration of its own alarm at the culture of impunity attending its commission and the rise in the number of desaparecidos.” – *(AR, PIO Baguio City//PIA CAR)