Dec. 14, 2007

Women’s partylist group GABRIELA joined Bayan Muna and Anakpawis in
filing a bill that seeks to hold military and police superiors
accountable for crimes and human rights violations committed by their

GABRIELA Women’s Party Representative Liza Largoza Maza said, “we are
filing HB 3259 or the Command Responsibility Bill, as we commemorate
Human Rights Day to address the incessant human rights violations
committed by the members of the Armed Forces and the police. It is
high time that butchers like Jovito Palparan are held accountable for
the killings and abductions of activists, militants and human rights
workers and volunteers.”

The GABRIELA solon urged immediate action on the bill stressing that
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions Philip
Alston in his report said that the military is in a state of denial
concerning the numerous extrajudicial executions in which its soldiers
are implicated. Alston’s recommendations include, among others:
“Necessary measures should be taken to ensure that the principle of
command responsibility, as it is understood in international law, is a
basis for criminal liability within the domestic legal order.”

According to Maza, “There is an impunity with which human rights
violations are committed in this country because despite eyewitness
accounts and countless evidence, no one has ever been convicted in the
cases of killings and abductions involving militants and activists.”

For this year alone, human rights group Karapatan has documented 68
victims of extrajudicial killings and 26 victims of enforced
disappearances. “We cannot overemphasize on the urgency of the command
responsibility bill as well as that of the anti-enforced
disappearances bill. Drastic measures have to be taken to address the
human rights crisis under the Arroyo regime.”#

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