Wednesday, August 02, 2006

GMA’s 10 week deadline may mean 30 more lives lost

August 1, 2006

‘We need actions, not words’
GMA’s 10 week deadline may mean 30 more lives lost

Reacting to Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s order for the authorities to solve 10 killings in 10 weeks, Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said that at the rate the killings are occuring, 30 more deaths would have happened before the President’s deadline.

At present, three killings are documented every week under the Arroyo administration, as per records with the human rights group KARAPATAN. Militants say figures are likely to get worse with the President’s declaration of an all-out war and her exaltation of Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan during her SONA.

“It is one thing to call for an investigation and arrest of suspects, and another to act now to stop the killings. The President has condemned the killings but she has not done anything to stop it,” stressed Casiño.

For starters, Casiño said the President should issue a general order to all men and women in the AFP and PNP not to engage, directly or indirectly, in any extrajudicial killing on pain of suffering the harshest penalty. “That would send the strong message that government is really out to stop such practices,” he said.

“Second, she should immediately investigate and put under preventive suspension all commanders where the killings are most rampant, starting with Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan in Central Luzon.”

Third, Casiño said the President should certify as urgent Joint Resolution No. 17 filed in Congress which aims to create an independent commission to investigate the systematic and widespread extrajudicial killings.

“These three practical steps can be done by the President tomorrow and will have more effect than empty condemnations and declarations about deadlines.” ###

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