"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Senator Gordon on UN Report on Extrajudicial Killings

Senator Richard J. Gordon today called for positive and responsible government actions on the report of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines prepared by the United Nations. Senator Gordon pointed out that the report reveals an urgent issue on human rights that must be immediately addressed by the government. “Under Sec. 4, Article II of the Constitution, the prime duty of the government is to serve and protect the people,” he said. “It must assure that our military is operating within the bounds of law and that civilian authority is at all times supreme over the military,” Senator Gordon continued.

The UN earlier released its report on their 10-day fact-finding mission revealing the existence of extrajudicial killings in the country. The report stated that the Philippine Armed Forces are in denial of such fact, and that their denial is “unconvincing”. Senator Gordon said that, “The government should heed this report of an underlying problem and act responsively for civilian security. This could be done by acknowledging the facts and taking aggressive steps to investigate and solve this problem. This should have been done from the very beginning.”

The senator has delivered at least five (5) privilege speeches on extrajudicial killings of judges, journalists, students, congressmen, rebels, civilians and even policemen. “All killings must be investigated and prosecuted, whether they are allegedly perpetrated by the soldiers, civilians or criminals,” Senator Gordon said.

Senator Gordon explained that the UN is an international organization dedicated to safeguard human rights. It is a renowned independent international institution and has no reason to be biased against the government. “It is very embarrassing that the UN had to come here and investigate. It is as if we could not address the problem ourselves. It is important to show the world and especially our people that we are doing something about it. It provides assurance and upholds the rule of law,” Senator Gordon said.

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