Sunday, March 18, 2007

Ambivalence on human rights?

Koko Pimentel hits GMA snub
on issue of extrajudicial killings

Genuine Opposition senatorial candidate Koko Pimentel today criticized President Arroyo for trivializing the spate of extrajudicial killings of activists and journalists country, saying this only shows the President’s ambivalence towards human rights issues.
This was Koko Pimentel’s reaction when President Arroyo relegated the issue of extrajudicial killings as mere “political issues” fit only for a subordinate to respond.
The President was quoted by news reported to have said that “Political issues are for my spokesman to answer,” when sought a reaction to U.S. Senate hearing on extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
“It is unwise for the President to categorize the very serious matter of unsolved extrajudicial killings as mere ‘political issues’ to be answered only by her press secretary,” Koko Pimentel emphasized.
“This issue of unsolved extrajudicial killings here in our country has already gotten attention of the highest levels of the United States government, the world’s only superpower,” Koko Pimentel noted.
“Yet, Gloria Arroyo appears to be sweeping these important matters under the rug, and relegates them as mere political issues fit only for her press secretary to respond,” Pimentel said.
Koko Pimentel, a staunch human rights legal advocate, said the President’s attitude of ambivalence towards the burning issue of extrajudicial killings only portrays her as having no concern at all for the promotion of human rights in this part of the world.
The President herself must take a hands-on attitude in resolving these cases of extrajudicial killings, considering that her administration has been criticized for “not doing enough” to abate these killings of civilians, Koko Pimentel said.

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